You can’t talk about sustainability without talking about the impact we have on the sustainability of the planet. Every tent that we make has an impact on the Earth. First, from raw material extraction and creation, then to the treatments we apply for flame retardancy, water repellency, and mildew resistance. And finally ending up in a landfill at the end of its life. We at Diamond Brand Gear are always striving to do better by our planet. This is why “Planet” is our second bottom line, based on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework of People, Planet, and Prosperity.
what is sustainability of the planet?
For us, “Planet” refers to our impact on the environment. It is our use of natural resources. This includes creation of greenhouse gases, and contributions to waste streams. The climate is changing and our economy is evolving. So we recognize there may come a time when we will need a change or amendment to that definition. Thus, we’ll be flexible to incorporate new avenues of impact we hadn’t considered before. After all, sustainability of the planet can always be boiled down to wanting to do right by our planet.
Measure twice, cut once is an old adage. It is at the heart of our design process at Diamond Brand. We try to think upstream to avoid problems in production. And, ultimately, later on as people own and use our goods. We’ve found that by carefully considering how and where a product will be used, we can effectively “design out” and avoid many of the environmental impacts of a product.
Here is an example may help to understand this a bit better. We know that zippers are integral, functional parts of a pack or tent. We also know that there are thousands of zippers to choose from. Some zippers are extremely flexible and lightweight. But they might not be durable. So if we pick one of these less durable zippers for a tent we sell to families or Scouts with kids frequently unzipping a door, it’s pretty likely that the zipper will fail much sooner than the rest of the tent. Fortunately, in that scenario, we’d likely be able to replace the zipper because our gear is designed with ease of repair in mind. As a result, we’re always happy to help customers fix our products.
However, many brands don’t offer repair help or spare parts, and so these tents in need of a part like a zipper (but are otherwise in great shape) get tossed in the trash. Now, consider that reality across products we all purchase. The failed zippers of clothing and gear, the broken button on electronics, the cracked plastic in toys or kitchenware mean these items wind up in the landfill prematurely.
It’s waste that could have been avoided with a bit more thought and measuring. First, that waste becomes a burden born by society as things fail to decompose in landfills. Next, it creates harmful fumes, or leaks chemicals into groundwater. Finally it can even be shipped overseas to become someone else’s problem to deal with.
Working to live within our means starts with how we design products. And it ends with how we take responsibility for our waste.
We’ve set a lofty goal for a company whose products use a lot of fabric. We want to eliminate and recirculate 100% of our fabric waste from our branded products by 2023. We plan to extend that goal to include our contract work as well, eliminating fabric waste from that production stream by 2025. These goals demonstrate how we are planning sustainability for the planet.
We’re starting at home with our branded products for a reason: we can design in ways that minimizes this waste. We can choose fabrics that are easier to reuse. We have a chance to experiment and find solutions that work before we begin tackling the additional waste created by our contract buyers.
So how are we doing it?
First, we reduce our usage. Our use of simple micro-innovating techniques allows us to leverage a relatively short production period to make goods as we sell them. This way we never waste resources by overproducing. We’re also working to reduce the amount of virgin material in our fabrics by offering recycled or renewable options that still perform to our high standards. Finally we make products that are durable and can last a lifetime. Long-lasting tents means less resources used!
The Diamond Brand family believes in prolonging the life of everything we make and takes pride in doing so. If any defect arises due to something we did (or failed to do), we will repair it for you free of charge for the life of the product.
But lots of companies offer warranties. What makes us unique is that we offer repair and patch kits for those who need to make small repairs. For larger repairs of any kind, send in your tent and we’ll make every effort to fix your gear. We want you to be able to love your tent for a lifetime. This eliminates the need for replacements whenever possible. For more info on repair, click here.
Reuse is where we at Diamond Brand really find our inspiration. We save every scrap of waste from our cutting room floor and turn it into new craft gear as part of our Moonrise Project, using a technique we call ‘American’ Boro, inspired by the tradition of Japanese Boro. We will also take back 100% of the tents we sell at the end of their life through our Revival: Tent Rescue program.
By giving scrap or waste fabric a second life, we keep it in use longer, out of the landfill for longer, and contribute to a more circular economy. Sharing, reusing, refurbishing and recycling resources continuously defines a circular economy. Our method keeps them in use as long as possible. When materials and resources are made into products that are not reused multiple times but instead go to a landfill at the end of the products life, it is called a linear economy. All resources are precious. Plus, they all have the potential to be reused in innovative ways. Thus, at Diamond Brand, we see our waste as an opportunity for this innovation and are always exploring new and creative ways to reuse our waste!
Why do we do it?
Our reasons for respecting the use of earth’s natural resources, and contributing to the sustainability of the planet, are simple. We craft products for outdoor adventures. If the outdoors is a spoiled and exploited landscape with dirty air and water, then we’ve ruined our own playground and subsequently our business as well. The former president of the Sierra Club, David Brower, elegantly explained this situation by saying, “There is no business to be done on a dead planet.”
This rings especially true for brands such as ours that craft products to enhance the outdoor experience. For us, it’s about preserving our freedom to escape. It’s about creating adventure by only taking from nature what we truly need and limiting what waste we produce. As a result we also help to ensure that we can stay in business for the long haul.