As an independent retailer we have the freedom to make more conscious decisions, create our own initiatives to be a more sustainable business, and lower our total footprint on the environment. We want to follow our own “Leave No Trace” ethical standards as a business, not just as adventurers. The outdoor industry and the retail industry each have challenges ahead at better controlling their impact, but there are actionable steps that we are taking to be at the forefront of change.
Creating 8 key categories of sustainability outlined below, we have set long-term goals for RRT to more fully represent these efforts. We will continue to analyze and grade our product assortment within these categories, ultimately setting goals to be as product-conscious as possible.
–Down Standards: ALL Down sold at RRT must be either Responsible Down Standard (RDS) or Traceable Down Standard (TDS) compliant. These ensure ethical harvesting of down, including no live plucking and no force feeding of ducks or geese.
–Trade Standards: Outside of North American- or European- made products, we look for products that are certified Fair Trade. Worker and manufacturing standards are also made visible within the Higg Index.
–Recycled Products: The ability to take the old and make it new again cuts back on the demand for new resources and goods, lowering total environmental impact.
–Low-impact Manufacturing: Beyond selection of raw materials, we look for manufacturers that are using the cleanest and most efficient means possible to manufacture their goods. One standard to monitor this in textiles is if they are Blue Sign Approved.
–USA Made: USA made is regularly an economic talking point, but this also has an impact on our ecosystem. US- or North American- made products have a much smaller carbon footprint to them.
–Environmental Initiatives: What a company stands for is often obvious with their passion projects. This may include grants to conservancies, planting trees, or cleaning waterways. No matter the initiative, we are paying attention to those who do more.
–Sustainable Resources: Moving to a world with less plastic is our main objective here, stopping the flow of micro-plastics into our ecosystems. We are working to introduce more wool, cotton, bamboo, hemp, and other plant-based fabrics and resources to RRT.
–Life Cycle Management: Monitoring our impact with raw materials and manufacturing is only part of the battle. Creating products that have a longer lifespan, that are repairable, or that are recyclable is every bit as important to our sustainability story.
We don’t believe in double standards. Our everyday operations should be as minimally impactful as possible. We are constantly reevaluating our recycling and reuse practices, energy and resource efficiencies, single use items, and outreach and education efforts.
–Recycling and Reuse Standards: We recycle all accepted materials to local standards, avoiding the trash whenever possible. Acceptable non-recyclable products are kept to be reused for packaging, fill, or shipping from the store; we never use new boxes or plastics.
–Cutting out Single Use: All employees have access to a full kitchen, allowing us to cut out to-go cups, utensils, and containers. Our events are hosted with reusable camp mugs. Shopping bags have always been reused plastic or paper products.
–Energy and Resource Efficiencies: While we have challenges in an old building, we have made strides to improve our energy and resource usage. We use reclaimed building materials in making displays and building repairs. We also buy used fixtures as opposed to brand new ones when possible.
–Environmental Initiatives: We are constantly taking on new initiatives that better educate new generations of adventurers how to be responsible. We also help put boots on the ground for trail maintenance, river clean ups, and fundraisers. You can find out more through our stewardship page. You can also find us sharing ideas and inspiration on our blog, like “Live Hopeful, Act Global”
–ReGear: RRT is establishing processes that would allow for quality used outdoor clothing and equipment to find a second home. Launching a pilot used gear sale in 2020, RRT hopes to make it a regular event that includes consignment sales from the public. If you’d like to sell some of your used gear in the future, message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.