If you are an outdoor buff, you have most likely heard of Mountainsmith.
Founded in 1979 by iconic adventurer Patrick Smith, the line is known for seriously durable gear from technical backpacks, trekking poles, tents and sleeping bags as well as their awesome lumbar packs.
Back in 2005 the owners made a conscious decision to make Mountainsmith a more sustainable company so they partnered with their long time textile supplier and launched ReForge 100% recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) RipStop fabric in 2007. As Luke Boldman, Product Line Manager and Lead Designer told us, “that was back when the ‘Green Revolution’ was really starting to happen in our industry and we were one of the first outdoor brands in the US to do this.” He continues, “Our Taiwanese textile factory had seen this type of textile happening on the industrial side of things and came to us and asked if we wanted to try it. We were all about it.”
This was one of the most significant innovations to date, for them as well as for the industry as a whole. The process saves plastic bottles from the landfill and in turn, makes their product better and more durable for the consumer. To date they have eclipsed the 6 million plastic bottle mark and ReForge makes up a little over 30% of their product line.
Mountainsmith has also unveiled two new lumbar packs, the Day Classic Hemp, and the Tour Classic Hemp, taking advantage of hemp’s renewable properties. As a crop, hemp uses half the amount of water as cotton, improves soil health, and grows resiliently making it highly profitable for its farmers. Since hemp isn’t very weather resistant, these products do have a polyurethane coating on them to be better suited for the elements.
Luke told us over the phone that “hemp is certainly new for us. It has its limitations for outdoor gear but I am sure that will change in the future. It isn’t as durable as nylon but it does fit in with our renewable resources. We thought it was a good story especially with the marijuana laws easing; it certainly is a buzz word.”
China is the world leader in hemp production but as Boldman told us, America could rise to number two or three in the next couple of years with all the marijuana potential here. “We are excited to take leadership on making these bags and hopefully one day having home grown hemp products.”
To learn more about the brand click here.