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We partner with bluesign® to understand the environmental impact of our textile manufacturing.

Performance fabrics for the outdoors that shed water and transport moisture often use complex polymers and chemical treatments. Even natural fabrics like cotton and wool are chemically dyed and finished.

bluesign – system partner

To minimize the negative environmental and human health impacts of textile processing, we started working with our textile mills and bluesign technologies in 2005. Bluesign provides independent auditing of textile mills, and the bluesign system is the strictest environmental standard in the world for the production of textiles. They focus on environmental performance in five key areas:

  1. Resource productivity
  2. Consumer safety
  3. Water emissions
  4. Air emissions
  5. Occupational health and safety

They examine the manufacturing process from raw materials, chemicals and energy going in to water and air emissions going out. Audit findings are ranked in order of concern and reviewed with the textile mills, and bluesign suggests ways to reduce consumption of natural resources and recommends alternatives to harmful chemicals or processes wherever possible. Textile mills that commit to verifiably adopting their recommendations earn bluesign system partner certification.

We've made a commitment to source 100% bluesign approved materials for MEC-brand products by 2017. A lofty goal? Perhaps, when you think of an MEC backpack that's made of dozens of different parts and materials, but we're getting closer to reaching that goal every year. To see our progress, check out our latest Annual Report, and look for the bluesign label when you shop for products.