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Green is the New Blacks | What Sustainability Means to Us

An aerial image of the ocean with text saying Performance For You, Protection for the Earth

Sustainability. It’s a buzzword that has exponentially risen in popularity throughout recent years. Whilst making movement in our own eco practices, sustainability for us is also about highlighting, and celebrating, how our most-loved brands are paving the planet-saving way.

What’s certain about sustainability is it shouldn’t be overcomplicated, and that’s what you’ll get from us - simple shopping that prides itself on giving you informed choices about sustainable purchases. Not only will we emphasise our eco-friendly product offering, our blog is always open too, to educate budding eco warriors about sustainable practices. So whenever you’re ready to turn green, we’re here to help.

You may have noticed a few new filters around our site; these are our sustainability features. Bespoke to Blacks, these elements have been created to make eco-friendly shopping easier for you. “But what do they mean?!” we hear you cry… don’t worry, just keep reading.

 

bluesign®

An aerial image of an ocean with a wave breaking with text saying bluesign product. One of the more widely recognised sustainable processes on our list is bluesign®. The bluesign® accreditation is over two decades old and has a strict set of criteria in order for a product to be certified. Products achieving certification have avoided harmful substances at each stage of the manufacturing process, from chemicals, procedures, materials and products.

Shop bluesign®

Vegan

An aerial image of a forest with a road running through the middle with text saying vegan. A vegan product can mean either all or part of the product is vegan. The attribute of vegan means that no animals are harmed in the manufacturing process or used in the final product. Materials such as wool, down or skin will not be present, instead replaced with synthetic equivalents where applicable.

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MADEKINDTM

An aerial image of an autumnal forest with a road running through the right hand side with text saying MADEKIND. Created by Berghaus, many of their products now fall under the MADEKINDTM category. A wider criterion than other categories on our list, to be a MADEKINDTM product, an item must either be made from recycled materials, be constructed with a bluesign® approved fabric, or produced using the COLOURKIND® process. You can find more on what each of these criteria mean in our guide to Berghaus MADEKINDTM.

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Natural/Sustainable Energy

An aerial image of a harvested field with trees running through the middle with text saying Natural/Sustainable Energy ‘Natural/Sustainable Energy’ refers to any part of the manufacturing process where, well the clue’s in the name, natural or sustainable energy is used. This includes using less energy, using renewable sources of energy and producing fewer emissions. A great example of this is Sorona®-fabric. Products using Sorona®-fabric require less energy and produce lower emissions.

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OEKO-TEX

An aerial image of fields with a road running through them with text saying OEKO-TEX Another common group of eco-certifications are from OEKO-TEX. With six standards under their umbrella, OEKO-TEX work specifically with companies in textile and leather industries to ensure harmful substances are omitted at all manufacturing touchpoints. In addition, OEKO-TEX certify production conditions to ensure they are environmentally and socially responsible.

Shop OEKO-TEX

PFC/PVC Free

An aerial image of a green forest with text saying PFC/PVC Free A feature that doesn’t limit itself to just clothing is ‘PFC/PVC Free’, including rucksacks and footwear too. Perifluorinated compounds (PFCs) are used in traditional water repellent coatings, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly found in plastics, but both are harmful to the environment. Products with this feature either omit PFC and PVC completely, or use a sustainable alternative to achieve the same function.

Shop PFC/PVC Free

Recycled Materials

An aerial image of a beach with a wave breaking on the sand with text saying Recycled Materials ‘Recycled Materials’ – a feature that is certainly not lesser known. In our ‘Recycled Materials’ category, you’ll find products that are either 100% recycled or include some form of recycled material in their construction. Whether it’s 100% or not, recycled materials avoid a life ending in landfill, so more of our environment is protected.

Shop Recycled Materials

Responsible Manufacturing

An aerial image of an ocean with icebergs floating in the water with text saying Responsible Manufacturing ‘Responsible Manufacturing’ encompasses anything where the manufacturing process has been made to be more sustainable or more ethical for the people involved. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a great example of ‘Responsible Manufacturing’, as it not only strives to make cotton production better for the environment, but also for the individuals who produce it.

Shop Responsible Manufacturing

Responsibly Sourced Materials

An aerial image of a forest covered in snow with an icy road running through the middle with text saying Responsibly Sourced Materials ‘Responsibly Sourced Materials’ takes it one step back in comparison to ‘Responsible Manufacturing’, this feature incorporates materials that have no negative effect on the environment or life. The manufacturer must know exactly where their materials are coming from, and they endeavour to make the most ethical and sustainable choices. One familiar feature that falls into this category is organic cotton.

Shop Responsibly Sourced Materials

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Blacks old-timer, Sophie, joined the online team back in 2017 after serving customers in her local Blacks store whilst completing her degree. Voluntary work with The Scouts, Girlguiding and The DofE, means she knows expeditions and outdoor kit like the back of her hand.

Catch Sophie checking out new trails on weekends, and she's always game for a hike, especially if it involves a pub at the end.

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