Our Approach to Sustainability
At Diamond Brand, we want sustainability to be baked into every decision we make. To help us get there, our team holds each other accountable for meeting the standards that we’ve prioritized.
We measure the success of our business by the wellbeing of our craftspeople, the vibrancy of each community we have the honor to be part of, and our stewardship of natural resources.
Quality inspection of a Free Spirit tent
We craft goods that are durable enough to last through generations of use. Each craftsperson that joins us in this effort is a member of a family that is protected and nurtured.
Together, we work to protect craft for as long as the Earth holds those eager to yield its fruits. With this commitment comes the responsibility to honor the natural resources and communities that we are dependent upon.
We acknowledge that the achievement of this vision of sustainable wealth is not a road with an end, but a lasting journey that we labor towards daily.
Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, Prosperity
For 138 years, Diamond Brand Gear has bent the arc of industry towards long-term, responsible economic growth rooted in the crafting of durable products. We measure our success with respect to a triple bottom line framework that accounts for the wellbeing of our craftspeople, our communities, and the Earth. For our craft to thrive well beyond the next 139 years, we acknowledge these three forces must be nurtured with equal importance—a challenge we humbly accept.
We make products in America with highly-skilled craftspeople that we treat like family.
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR IMPACTS ON PEOPLE:
“Like Family” – members of our senior staff
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS
- 100% of our employees make at least a living wage for Henderson County, North Carolina. This factors in the number of adults in the household who are working and the number of children they are supporting.
- Through our Gainsharing Program, we split our gross margin profits we exceed 50/50 with employees each month.
- We have a robust employee referral bonus system in which we reward employees for employment referrals and offer a graduated pay scale dependent upon milestones such as interviewing and length of employment.
SUPPORT & EQUALITY
- We provide an Employee Assistance Program that helps our family members through times of exceptional need with marriage, the birth of children, substance abuse, personal finances and continuing education.
- We provide translation services that enable everyone to have access to the same information and be empowered to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Parthenon Canopy prototype fitting
Students on a factory tour
Our commitment to family extends into our community and we support our employees’ efforts to generate positive change by offering paid volunteer time.
Working to live within the means of earth’s natural resources starts with how we design products and ends with how we take responsibility for our waste.
Here is how we hold ourselves accountable:
R&D team member chooses webbing for a project
Management of Natural Resources through Product Design & Production
- Our designs are a product of over 100 years of use, which results in goods that are elegantly simple, repairable, extremely durable, and suitable for a variety of different adventures, so that you only need one, saving the resources of making many.
- We are committed to working with suppliers who share our vision for building the best tents in the world. In 2020, we partnered with Duke University to understand where our major impacts are in the manufacturing processes and components of an Atlas Tent. From here, we’ll use this information to drive change without compromising quality.
- Our use of simple micro-innovating techniques allows us to leverage a relatively short production period to make goods as we sell them so that we never waste resources by overproducing.
Responsibility for Waste
We encourage the use of our products for multiple generations by providing replacement parts, repair services, DIY repair guides, and care & maintenance instructions, so we can avoid the environmental and financial costs of replacing gear for our planet and customers, respectively.
We’ve implemented circular systems to collect and incorporate both post-industrial and post-consumer waste into new products (see below). We accept 100% of everything we’ve ever made back for refurbishing, and we’re working toward becoming a zero-waste factory by 2022.
- Rescue: products crafted from worn-out tents that are sent to us by their former owner. For our business customers, we offer to send half of the products we make with the materials back to them to be used or sold at their discretion.
- “American” Boro: products that include reused fabric remnants from the factory cutting room that is stitched back together in the tradition of Japanese Boro, a practice of mending garments out of necessity.
- Rebuilt: for some tents, refurbishment is an option. As a craft manufacturer, we can take the time to clean, repair and resell tents that are ready for more adventures.
The tent rescue journey
A new tent is crafted in our Asheville, NC factory.
That tent is enjoyed by an adventurer for years
As all adventurers know, tents can be damaged, either from a long, active life or an accident.
Return your damaged tent to our factory for a discount on a comparable new tent.
Our sewers work their magic and turn the damaged tent into a new piece of craft gear.
The adventure continues for years to come!
We are committed to being a responsible business that benefits society through the preservation of craftsmanship, formation of a greener economy and creation of durable goods that enhance the experiences of all adventurers.
Here is how we hold ourselves accountable:
Heavy duty machines are needed for heavy tents
- We’re part of the historical North Carolina textile industry that has been in operation since the 1820s and are committed to keeping 100% of Diamond Brand Gear products sewn in our factory in Asheville, NC.
- Sewing is a traditional craft of Appalachia, and we are proud to maintain this heritage through on-site job training that honors and deepens our roots.
Green Economic Growth
- We are building a stronger and more resilient local business community by serving as an incubator and mentor to other makers who can benefit from our experience, designing processes, use of sewing machinery, and factory management.
- We are leading the movement to marry craftsmanship with sustainability through the creation of green jobs that eliminate waste by rescuing materials and transforming them into new gear.
Craftsperson works on a contract manufacturing line
Luis from Descubre Asheville snacks on wild blueberries
Supporting All Experiences Outdoors
We support all styles of adventure by all types of adventurers and believe that everyone has a right to access the outdoors in an inclusive and welcoming environment.
We’re not only passionate about achieving zero waste as a manufacturer—we see it as a necessity as a responsible brand, and our Rescue collection is forged from these values.
OUR rescue editions
We’re not only passionate about achieving zero waste as a manufacturer, we see it as a necessity as a responsible brand and our Rescue collection was forged from these values. Whether we’re recycling tents from our scout partners or using scrap fabric from our other products, we are dedicated to finding functional, creative solutions to turn scrap fabric into craft gear. If you share our passion for sustainability while appreciating durable gear that will last a lifetime, we invite you to explore our Rescue line. 100% made with love in AVL.
Our Boro technique saves fabric scraps from the landfill through a stitching process inspired by boroboro, a traditional garment mending process of the Japanese working class.
Our “American Boro” process allows us to rescue scrap waste from the cutting floor and transform it into beautiful, one-of-a-kind accent fabrics for our bags. This technique is inspired by conscientious craft and our goal of reaching zero-waste by the year 2022.
The American boro journey
A piece of craft gear is produced in our factory in Asheville, NC.
Leftover scraps from newly-crafted gear are collected.
Scrap material is then used to create new craft gear.
If you’re as inspired by sustainability as we are and feel like taking a deeper dive into some of the research that has led us to our practices, we encourage you to browse the resources below. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or don’t see what you’re looking for.