Berghaus has teamed up with Cumbrian climbing company Dirtbags to launch a new product range made out of re-purposed materials. Rehaused by Dirtbags is a collaboration that takes Berghaus products that have reached the end of their usable lives and upcycles the materials into climbing kit, such as chalk bags, and other accessories.
The Dirtbag website makes clear the philosophy behind its establishment, ‘We aim to educate and inform those who want to do their bit by upcycling, repurposing and recycling. We collect old climbing gear, outdoor textiles and just about anything that comes our way to give it all a brand spanking new life.’
Through its MADEKIND initiative, Berghaus is committed to significantly reducing the impact of its business activities on the environment and one of the key elements is making products that last. As well as developing durable kit that does not need to be frequently replaced, the company has for many decades repaired its products free of charge, extending their lifetime. The collaboration with Dirtbags addresses the issue of what happens to kit when it is finally beyond original intended use.
Berghaus contacted Dirtbags co-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 various Berghaus materials and components, she developed a new product range and Rehaused by Dirtbags was born. At the heart of the collection are chalk bags for climbers, made out of repurposed waterproof and fleece products; other items include a bum bag, kit bag and a laptop/tablet sleeve.
Wood 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, and of course 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 too.
“Returns, samples and the unrepairable have made their way from the North East 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.”
Paul Anderton, interim global brand director at Berghaus, added, “Addressing the huge challenges of sustainability is a complex process and to do it effectively, we have to look at every part of our supply chain and every aspect of our business activities. We’re doing that through MADEKIND, but as good corporate citizens, we also have a responsibility to look beyond and consider what happens to our gear when it finally reaches the end of its useful life. 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.”