As far as companies are concerned, ‘going green’ is essentially about making a smaller mess, using and re-using waste, and simultaneously lowering their carbon footprint as much as possible in a world of consumptive excess. And while no company is perfect, SCARPA has been making strides in its proactive campaign, dubbed its Planet Friendly initiative, to make the best technical gear possible using materials and practices that also help us all reach a greener goal.
Already, we’ve made progress in our Alpine Touring and Telemark ski boot line using Rnew Pebax shells made from castor oil, which is 90 percent plant-based oil rather than being derived from petroluem. Several boot models, including the award-winning Maestrale, use Rnew as its secret ingredient, which requires 29 percent less fossil fuels and puts out 32 percent fewer emissions in the process of taking Rnew from raw to useable material. What’s left is the same high-end performance (slightly higher performance, in fact) with a smaller carbon footprint.
In the last year-plus, SCARPA has extended its Planet Friendly program to include five models of trail runners and light hikers. The Pursuit and Pursuit GTX (trail runners), the Epic (hiking/approach shoe built on a trail runner chassis) and the Moraine and Moraine GTX (light hikers) incorporate ‘Planet Friendly’ materials choices. Using mesh, synthetic leather, lining, webbing, laces and rubber that are between 25 and 100 percent recycled content, as well as EcoPure in the midsoles so they biodegrade more quickly under landfill conditions, these specific SCARPA products set a higher standard in supporting low-impact technology.
For its part, EcoPure® is an organic additive that causes plastic to biodegrade through a series of chemical and biological processes when disposed of in a microbe-rich environment such as a landfill. It makes plastic attractive to the microbes, and allows the plastic to be consumed by the microorganisms as a source of energy. What this means? EcoPure® midsoles will breakdown in 20 years, as opposed to, say, 1,000.
In the end, manufacturing footwear or anything else still creates an impact. But as technology advances, it allows companies like SCARPA to do more with less, and ultimately have a smaller footprint. And that, we think, is a good thing.