Recycled high-performance ski wear

No-one’s perfect when it comes to being “eco”, so we’re aiming for progress rather than instant perfection.

We believe that by taking steps to be better, we can make a difference, and no matter how small – it all counts. We love the mountains, love to ski & board, and we love to do it in kit that is well-designed and performs. We see no reason why our kit shouldn’t be as ecologically-conscious as possible whilst doing so. Which is why we created Untrakt.

We re-iterate our garments every year, aiming to not only improve the design & functionality but to reduce the use of ‘virgin’ plastics and materials throughout. One day soon we hope to produce a 100% recycled product, made with minimal impact, that is simple to repair and easy to recycle at the end of its life.

Our ski-wear is currently produced from recycled fabrics, single-use plastic bottles, and excess waste from polyester manufacturing. We use a waterproof membrane made from 85% polyester film waste & 15% recycled bottles throughout our range, and we’re committed to only using PFC-free DWR on our fabrics & garments. Although our current zips are not recycled, our factory re-uses approximately 60% of wastewater produced during the electroplating process and continues to work on supercritical CO₂ dyeing technology, which will eliminate harmful post-dyeing procedures & waste liquids. We hope to move to 100% recycled zips in the next product cycle. We use a PLA bag derived from biomass for packaging. Made from rice straw and chaff processed into starch plastic, it’s completely biodegradable, compostable, natural, and non-toxic. It can use any waste disposal method such as incineration, burial, recycling or composting. Decomposition takes between 60 days and 15 months depending on humidity and conditions. We also use recycled card for swing tags and a jute string instead of plastic to attach tags to garments.

What is the most positive environmental impact that Untrakt has made?

Our clothing uses recycled face-fabrics, linings, insulation, membranes, and trims. This is all recyclable too – but not easily. We’ve ensured our packaging – from the factory to our warehouse, to the customer is plastic-free. Only cardboard boxes and our rice straw bags are used, and we’ve even ensured third-party distributors are using recycled packaging. A customer survey showed that over 78% of our customers chose our ski wear because our eco-conscious outlook was important to them. We hope this is the start of an industry-wide shift in customers’ expectations.

Which individual pledge are you focused on delivering in the future?

Short-term, we really want to get to a place where our entire range is 100% recycled – zips, toggles, elastics included. We’ve made a good start here, and every trade show seems to bring another recycled element that we can work into our products. We’re moving in the right direction. Longer-term, we want to enable our customers to easily recycle their ski wear at the end of its usable life – having re-used it as much as possible! Unfortunately, the facilities and processes for this (where they even exist) are prohibitively expensive and make no economic sense for any stakeholder. We want the ability to take a jacket back, and turn it into a new one. We’re some way off here; there’s much research to be done, many questions to ask, but the more of us who ask these questions, the more chance of change.