Top 10 Outdoor Companies that We Love: Local, Ethical, Sustainable!
We live in a world of choices. Throughout your day, you make hundreds of choices consciously and unconsciously, that define you and shape the world we live in. Now, I'm not here to tell you who you are, but what I can do is provide a list of Outdoor Brands that have decided to make a positive impact in our world. As I have preached many times before, you have more power to change the world than you think, and I want to support those companies who are doing that very thing. This list is just a selection of the fantastic products we use to simplify our minimalist lifestyle, and our cycling adventures, and I am more than happy to attest to their greatness.
Be you, do good, enjoy!
1. Goal Zero
"Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, and Zero Regrets" This company began by working to break the cycle of poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From earthquakes to tsunamis, hurricanes to typhoons, these guys step in to help by providing power and light to people who need it most. With the many different solar options available, I will always turn to Goal Zero to power our home, and give light on our adventures.
2. Luna Sandals
This company has been a recent discovery of mine, but I am so excited to have found them! A few years ago, I ran my first marathon. Long story short, due to wearing a new pair of shoes on the day of the race, I've had a chronic tendinitis in my ankle that I hadn't been able to stretch or roll away. I thought I would need to wear special orthotics for the rest of my life, and hated it. But, I wanted to keep experimenting, focusing on strengthening my natural structures, and decided to give barefoot running a try. And I am so glad I did! I have had less reoccurring tenderness since my switch, and am so excited to have near normalcy again! These sandals are American made, which will always get my support.
3. Worn Wear by Patagonia
Patagonia certainly doesn't need my endorsement, but their Worn Wear program is absolutely worth mentioning. I am an undeniable consumer. I love trying new products, and changing my wardrobe up. But, now when I want a new jacket, I can get a quality item that is new to me, but from the used online rack at wornwear.patagonia.com. In addition to all the awesome shit this company already does, they are promoting repairing your items, rather than just buying a new one, thus reducing waste. Brilliant.
4. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
On your consumer ethics journey, you will inevitably stumble across the classification of "Certified B Corporation." According to B Lab, "B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency." This is just one of the many certifications that this incredible company has earned. Toss out all those shampoo bottles and cleaners, and switch to the good shit. You can use it to clean just about anything in your world. Simple is nice.
We stay fresh with: Peppermint Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
5. Road Runner Bags
"Handmade in California By Cyclists for Cyclists." These guys make products with style for messengers, commuters, and bike packers. They have funky colors, and styles, but the quality of the bags is what makes them great. Quick side note, the items generally aren't waterproof, though they do have waxed canvas, and lined items. So, if you live in a soggy climate, or plan to bike tour Ireland, they may not be the best. But, if your going on a desert ride, or cruise in the sunshine, then check these guys out!
6. Co-Motion Cycles
American Made. Oregon Made. Handmade. I am a huge fan of steel bikes, and these are the cream of the crop when it comes to American made steel frames. I have been crushing hills on my road frame for a few years now, and love that it is responsive like a high end carbon, with the buttery-ness that only steel can provide. The styles can be a bit dated in the paint department, but they offer custom jobs as well.
I roll on: Espresso
7. Klean Kanteen
B Corp! This company gives back and supports the environment by being a part of the 1% For The Planet. Long lasting and durable, you could drop these bottles off buildings and walk away with a bit of a dent and some character. Plus, they don't get as funky as Nalgenes tend to do over time. We have four of the Classic 40 oz bottles, and I never leave the bus without one.
What happens when you center your business around animal welfare and human rights? You make a product that is worth what it costs. It bums me out when I hear that more travelers don't know about Icebreaker. They make excellent merino wool and plant based garments, designed to be used for athletics and adventures. And honestly, you can wear their garments for days on a trip without the instant stink you would normally get from synthetics. Save up for a base layer, or try a set of undies, and let me know how good you feel in them after hours on the bike. Totes worth it.
When Cody and I switched to a plant based diet, it was tough to find snacks that we could take on our rides that would sustain us. Finding PROBAR made the transition so much easier, and is now our go-to grab before heading out for a big ride. They have meal bars, plant based protein bars, and quick energy chews for races as well. The ingredients are simple, and actually tasty. Imagine that.
10. NEMO Equipment
When we were deciding on a way to wash our dishes in our tiny home, we immediately got excited about the Helio Pressure Shower from NEMO. Making quality products, focused on repairing not just throwing away - NEMO is an outdoor company that actually wants to preserve the outdoors. I don't think they planned on their showers being used to wash dishes daily, so when our shower head started to wear out, they sent us a new one that week. Love these guys!