Outdoors clothing brand Berghaus and Cumbrian climbing company Dirtbags have teamed up tocreate a product range made from repurposed materials.
Rehaused by Dirtbags upcycles old Berghaus products to make climbing kit, such as chalk bags and laptop bags.
The project is an extension of the MADEKIND initiative by Berghaus, which aims to reduce the impact of business activities on the environment. One of the key contributions to this work is making products that are durable and do not need to be frequently replaced.
In addition, the company has for many decades repaired its products free of charge, therefore extending their lifetime.
Now the collaboration with Dirtbags addresses the issue of what happens to kit when it is finally beyond use.
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Launch of Rehaused by Dirtbags
Berghaus contacted Dirtbags’ founder Jennifer Wood to explore whether there was a way to establish a second life for products that could no longer be used for their initial purpose.
Working with a supply of Berghaus materials and components, Jennifer developed a new product range and Rehaused by Dirtbags was born.
At the heart of the collection are chalk bags for climbers, made from repurposed waterproof and fleece products. Other items in the range are a bum bag, kit bag and a laptop/tablet sleeve.
Jennifer said: “Reusing products is much more preferable to recycling. It’s a low-carbon alternative that keeps textiles and components in the economic system without the need for incineration or chemical alteration. It prevents materials from going to landfill, too.
“Not only is this approach already better for the environment, but by choosing Dirtbags as a partner, Berghaus is avoiding air miles. Returns, samples and the unrepairable have made their way from the north east, where Berghaus is based, to our workshop in the Lake District, to find a new home and a second life as completely new products.
“Look carefully at each Rehaused by Dirtbags product and you may recognise signs of a past life: A water-resistant zip, a jacket lining, a hood toggle, or a hook and loop fastening. We cleared a sewing table, put the kettle on, emptied the huge box of goodies to be remade – and got cracking.”
A greener future
Paul Anderton, interim global brand director at Berghaus, said that addressing the huge challenges of sustainability is a complex process.
He added: “Everyone at Berghaus is really excited about the potential of Rehaused by Dirtbags. The range is excellent and it’s great to see our brand associated with this approach to repurposing products.
“In the greater scheme of sustainability, this is a small step, but it’s an important one and it sends out a strong, positive message.”
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.