REI Launches Eco-Sensitive Product Line

REI Launches Eco-Sensitive Product Line

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) unveiled an eco-sensitive label last week that will designate products with a lower environmental impact.

The items will boast a significant percentage of recycled, renewable or organic fibers include cotton, bamboo, hemp, wool, post-industrial recycled polyester, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from starch-rich products such as corn.

The logo — a green flower with a globe representing the bulb against a black backdrop — will adorn more than 40 company brand styles by mid-September, with more to come.

That includes a $54 pair of women's tweel pants made with hemp fibers — which require no pesticide and grow more densely than cotton — and recycled (PET) polyester sourced from old soda bottles. The logo will accompany an $8.50 pair of children's socks sports Ingeo poly-lactic-acid (PLA) fiber that is spun from corn, renewable and can be composted.

The company said it hopes the eco-sensitive line will help its customers make more informed decisions about the products they buy.

"While we previously offered REI brand clothing that contained environmentally sensitive fibers, we are moving from a grassroots approach to a formalized commitment to environmental performance in our products," Lee Fromson, vice president of REI Gear & Apparel, said in a statement. "Many of our customers recognize that their purchase decisions have a direct impact on the natural world, and we are committed to offering alternatives that are more environmentally friendly."

REI also is taking steps to make it easoer for its supply chain to more quickly and easily identify green products. The Outdoor Industry Association's Eco-Working Group brings together more than 40 outdoor brands, supply chain partners and other stakeholders to create a framework to measure, report and improve the environmental impact of their products.

"Our eco-sensitive offerings are the next step in our journey to reduce REI's overall company environmental footprint," Kelly Stone, REI Gear & Apparel director of sales and marketing, said. "As with every offering that carries our brand, REI's eco-sensitive items deliver on our promise of functionality, quality and great style that our members and customers expect."

The company has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by lowering energy use, adopting green building principles for future stores, cutting waste through recycling, and sourcing paper from responsible purveyors.