Trucost News / 06 Feb 2017

Bergans pioneers sustainable design of outdoor apparel

The Norwegian outdoor brand has improved the environmental performance of its products by up to 95% according to a groundbreaking study with analysts Trucost

Bergans of Norway, the hiking and outdoor brand, has become the first company in its sector to quantify and value the environmental benefits of its products to improve its own – and its customers’ – sustainability.

Bergans is enthusiastic about outdoor life and encourages people to enjoy and experience nature – today and in the future. To ensure that the outdoors we have today will be there for the next generation to enjoy, Bergans is committed to improving the social, ethical and environmental sustainability of its products.

Bergans understands that product design is key to achieving its sustainability goals. The company commissioned Trucost to assess the environmental performance of three new products which have been designed to reduce the impacts associated with raw materials, manufacture and distribution, and compare the impacts to those of conventional products.

The three items of apparel assessed were the Symre jacket, made of 45% recycled wool; Brekketind trousers, made from 74% recycled polyester; and the Gullholmen T-shirt, made from 85% Repreve – polyester from recycled plastic bottles.

Trucost’s assessment found that the environmental impact of the Symre jacket was 95% lower than a conventional jacket, while the impact of the Gullholmen T-shirt was 77% lower, and the Brekketind trousers 65% lower than similar conventional items.

The main benefit came from the recycled materials used in the products. For example, using recycled wool reduces the greenhouse gas emissions from sheep farming, while recycled polyester avoids the use of energy intensive raw materials and textile manufacturing processes.

Bergans is also helping its customers become more sustainable by providing advice and services that enable them to extend the life of clothing. This is important because many of the environmental impacts of apparel come from how they are used, not just how they are made.

Bergans advises customers on how to wash, maintain and store clothing such as down jackets, waterproof shells and woolen products. It also provides a repair service to mend zips and patch rips and tears. Bergans’ stores take back items at the end of their life so that they can be recycled into new hiking and outdoor apparel.

Bergans’ Sustainability and New Business Director Mrs Sølvi Nilsen said: “As an outdoor brand, we deliver products enabling our customers to enjoy the outdoors – thus we have a special responsibility and interest in taking good care of nature. Knowing more about the environmental benefits of different product designs was crucial for us. Trucost provided insightful analysis of alternative material choices to inform our decisions.”

Dr Richard Mattison, Chief Executive Officer, Trucost, said: “This is a great example of a company working to improve the sustainability of its business model through innovative product design. Trucost is delighted to have been able to support the decision-making process by providing robust and comprehensive data on the environmental performance of different design options.”

Further information

For more information on Bergans and sustainability: https://www.bergans.com/About-us/CSR

Media contacts                                                                              

Bergans: Christoph Centmayer, Sustainability Manager, +47 4062 4099, christoph.centmayer@bergans.no

Trucost: James Richens, +44 (0)20 7176 9804, james.richens@trucost.com

About Bergans

Bergans is almost an institution for outdoor-loving Norwegians. The company was founded in 1908 when Ole Bergan invented the modern backpack. Today Bergans offers a broad range of backpacks, tents, foldable canoes, and technical and lifestyle outdoor and ski clothing. Ever since Amundsen reached the South Pole, their products have been on countless expeditions and adventures, and innovation is still the basis for the company today. Bergans products are available in all main European markets, with a strong basis on the Norwegian home market, as well as in North America and Russia.

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