Going on a Hike: Our Sustainable Packing List - Good On You
20 Jul

Going on a Hike: Our Sustainable Packing List

There’s not a doubt in our minds that if we made a poll, there would be a clear split between those who prefer to lay on the sand sunbathing at the beach, and those who are more likely to put a backpack on and go hiking in the mountains or a forest. But did you know you can do both with conscious clothing on? That’s right, with the right sustainable outdoor brands, eco-friendly hiking is more than possible!

You may think that it’s easier for those that love the seaside (read: you’re almost naked at the beach, so there are far less things that need to be sustainable), and you might be right. But that’s why Good On You is here to help! Mountain and forest lovers, this one is a head-to-toe list of sustainable outdoor brands made just for you—so that you can go on your next hike respecting the folks, critters, and environment you encounter, while rocking gear that is good for people, animals, and the planet in its production phase, too!

Head

Whether it’s from the sun or the evening breeze, when hiking it’s always a good idea to protect your noggin. You certainly don’t want your eyes and nose to be too exposed to the high altitudes’ UV-rays (extra tip: do not forget to cover your face with sunscreen, even if it’s overcast!), but you’ll also want to keep your ears warm when the temperature goes down.

Coalatree

Rated: Good
sustainably made cap by Coalatree

Zion National Park Hat – Ships internationally from the US

Coalatree is a US-based brand bringing elements of the outdoors and city life together by designing functional and stylish apparel and accessories.

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Shop Coalatree.

bleed

Rated: Great
forest green ethical beanie by Bleed

Homegrown Fichtel Beanie – Ships internationally from Germany

bleed was founded in 2008 by German skateboarder Michael Spitzbarth who had worked for a few years as a freelancer for various clothing companies after finishing his studies. bleed's mission is to inspire a sustainable lifestyle that excites and easily integrates into our daily life, by creating ecological, vegan and fairly produced sports and streetwear.

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Shop bleed.

Face and neck

You never know what you’ll find when you get to the top of the mountain. That’s why the first rule when going on a hike is: be prepared and protect yourself.

Not all the neck gaiters are the same, it’s the fabric that makes the difference in protecting you from sun and wind, and in controlling your body temperature.
Try by wearing one of éclipse’s buffs, the perfect response to all these conscious hiker’s needs.

éclipse

Rated: Good
fluro orange gaiter by Eclipse

Classic Neck Gaiter (Unisex) – Ships internationally from the US

éclipse creates climate control UPF 50+ clothing essentials and accessories.

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Shop éclipse.

Top

For your core, there’s just a few simple rules to follow.
First, dress yourself in layers—again, you never know what the weather conditions will be at different altitudes.
Second, pop colors! It’s not just a matter of trends, it’s for safety: fluro colors are way more visible, and in case of emergencies it’ll be easier for you to be seen if you’re not wearing black or military green.

And last but not least, make sure to keep yourself warm and dry. Bringing a backup tee is a must, but you can also prevent excessive sweating by choosing to wrap your body in the right fabrics.

Adidas by Stella McCartney

Rated: Good
fluro pink activewear by Adidas by Stella McCartney

Essentials Tank Top – Ships internationally from Germany

In an eco power collaboration we didn’t know we needed but definitely deserve, footwear company Adidas paired with sustainable luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney to create stunning sneakers and activewear that look and feel great. Made from a percentage of recycled Parley Ocean Plastic®, you can walk the walk knowing you helped prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean.

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Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ Farfetch.

Gandys

Rated: Good
ethical fleece for hiking by Gandys

Verbier Blue Lucerne Overhead Fleece – Ships to Europe from the UK

Gandys is an outdoor and adventure brand that likes to give back. The London-based label makes menswear, womenswear and luggage for the intrepid, but there's a lot more to it than that. Gandys was founded by brothers Rob and Paul, who lost their parents in the 2004 Asian tsunami when they were just teenagers. That tragedy inspired them to make a difference in the world, and so they established the Gandys Foundation. They now help underprivileged children with education, medication and nutrition.

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Shop Gandys.

Bottom

It’s true that it depends on where you’re going, but when on a hike your legs are usually the part of your body that is most exposed to small injuries and scratches. Remember that first rule for hikers? Be prepared and protect yourself. So, here we go with the perfect hiking pants: long trousers that can turn into shorts thanks to a zip, made with insect repellent fabric—they’ll help to keep your legs safe from rocks, tall grass, and insect bites, but you can still decide to go short when walking safer tracks. Plus, it’s such a sustainable choice: with one purchase only you’re basically getting two different items!

Patagonia

Rated: Good
sustainable convertible pants from Patagonia

Quandary Convertible Pants – Ships internationally from the US

Patagonia is a brand which truly lives and breathes the great outdoors. It makes clothing for trail running, climbing, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, and snowboarding. Patagonia has strong labour rights and uses recycled, rather than virgin, polyester. It has also committed to reducing its energy use and emissions.

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Shop Patagonia.

Feet

Treating your feet right when on a hike is crucial to prevent dis-eases that can turn your (sustainable) adventure into a dis-aster. It’s not only about picking the right pair of shoes (go for ankle hiking boots if you feel like you need more stability, or leave your ankles free if you aim more for lightweight), it’s also about the right socks—cause you certainly don’t want your toes to be wet (and smell bad!) and heel blisters are the worst.

Alice + Whittles

Rated: Great
sustainable weekend boots by Alice and Whittles

The Weekend Boots – Ships internationally from Canada

Alice + Whittles favours transparency, ethical manufacturing practices and sustainable materials as a means of creating long-lasting, positive change.

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Shop Alice + Whittles.

Jack Wolfskin

Rated: Good
red and black hike friendly shoes by Jack Wolfskin

Cascade Hike XT Texapore Low W – Ships internationally from Germany

Jack Wolfskin has set good labour policies and traces all its supply chain.

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Shop Jack Wolfskin.

Howies

Rated: Good
merino socks for outdoors by Howies brand

Merkel Merino Socks – Ships internationally from the UK

Howies believes in making higher quality, lower impact products for our sports and day-to-day lives. The label uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified organic cotton. It also addresses the risks of labour abuse by adopting the GOTS Code of Conduct.

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Shop Howies.

Underwear

When doing sports, whether it’s yoga or jogging or going on a hike, it is crucial to wear comfortable underwear. Keep it simple and go for something that sustains you in all the right places while still staying fresh on top, and keeps you dry and free at the bottom.

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
red activewear bra by Organic Basics ethical brand

SilverTech™ Active Workout Bra – Ships internationally from Denmark

Organic Basics offers high quality sustainable fashion basics for men and women in organic materials. The Denmark-based brand puts sustainable thinking at the centre of everything - it only chooses fabrics that care for our environment, and only ever partners with factories that care about their impact.

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Shop Organic Basics @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Organic Basics.

Woron

Rated: Good
eco friendly underwear by Woron

Hipster Base Panties In Black – Ships internationally from Denmark

Woron creates vegan underwear and fashion favourites that will stay in your wardrobe season after season.

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Shop Woron @ Reve en Vert.

Shop Woron.

Boody

Rated: Good
everyday bamboo briefs for men by Boody

Men’s Everyday Briefs – Ships internationally from Australia

Made from organically grown bamboo, Boody is a clothing brand that supports the trend for all things green & ethical.

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Shop Boody.

Bags

Bringing your own water bottle as an alternative to single use plastic is a good start, but you can do more: even your backpack can be made by a sustainable outdoor brand that takes care of people, animals and the planet. Surprised? We hope for a future where this will be the standard! Meanwhile, let’s have a look at these conscious options for your sustainable hike—there’s one for each scenario, whether you’re carrying the world on your shoulders or you’re lucky enough to have a hiking companion who does that for you!

VAUDE

Rated: Good
sustainable hiking backpack by Vaude

Jura 18 – Ships internationally from Germany

Vaude is a European family-run outdoor wear brand. It sustainably produces clothes and materials for the outdoors, using eco-friendly materials, like recycled fabrics. It is also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and has a Code of Conduct which covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedom principles.

See the rating.

Shop Vaude.

Ecoalf

Rated: Good
ethical bum bag in yellow by Ecoalf brand

Bum Bag ‘Vamba’ – Ships internationally from Spain

Thanks to recycled materials like rescued ocean plastic, Ecoalf creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones.

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Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Use our Directory to search more than 2,500 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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