We are a small company and a young brand, but we know our responsibility and have our principles. Although we can’t do everything perfectly, we still try to follow our guiding principles as much as possible. BERGSTOP is a Swiss company and Switzerland is blessed with awesome nature, but on our mountain hikes we see the retreating glaciers and other signs of climate change first-hand. So we took different steps to improve the sustainability of our products and minimize the footprint of our company.
There is some consensus in the outdoor industry, that the biggest factor to minimize the environmental impact is the longevity of the equipment we use. Good quality is key to this, as our CozyBags can be used for many years and is the opposite of fast fashion. Additionally, our multi-functional wearable sleeping bags can be used in numerous situations, reducing the number of items you need to carry along.
Then we stopped using additional PFC coating to make the CozyBag more water repellent. Some of our older models still have an additional DuPont coating, but we found it equally water repellent with the standard coating of the fabric. It will just wear off a bit faster, but we suggest restoring the water repellence with PFC free products yourself if really needed, as explained in our blog post here.
Finally we designed most products of single materials, to make them easier to recycle. For example, our CozyBags are made almost completely out of polyester: fabric, filling, zippers, cords. Only a few metal buttons are used, that can be quickly cut out. Should it really be worn off so much in the far future, you can consign it to a textile recycling collection.
And the soft polyester microfibre fabric of the MicroLiner is even already made with 50% recycled polyester fibres.
Socially responsible production
We are aware that production in Asia is controversial, but we have long experience in this field already and know our responsibility. We would love to source our products more locally in Europe, but currently the cost would make our products unaffordable.
Our principle is to produce only factories that are audited. We work with one main supplier who is from Taiwan and we know him personally since over 20 years. This supplier owns a modern factory in Bangladesh, which has been BSCI-amfori audited, provides 3000 people with good job conditions and their families with stable income. Certainly, we could make our CozyBags much cheaper elsewhere, but we don’t want to.
Even in our daily lives at work and home we are aware of the environmental impact of our actions and strive to minimize them. We have collaborators all over the world and do everything online, so nobody need to commute to work. The only paper we need to print are accounting information we need to archive by law. And our responsible person for procurement lives in Asia, so doesn’t need to fly back and forth from Switzerland to supervise production.
As we don’t have the resources to run our own PR-friendly environmental projects like other big brands, we contribute as a member to the projects of EOCA, the European Outdoor Conservation Association. They pool the resources of many outdoor brands and coordinate conservation projects in Europe and beyond. You can also help their projects with an individual donation.
Tourism may never return to normal, but we can see some positive sides to it. There are many options to take holidays with a focus on the near, the experience, with friends and family. We have collected a few ideas in this blog post.
Simply stay warm while looking into the vastness of the universe. Star observer Dr.-Ing. Matthias Engel tested our CozyBag for use in astronomy and reports on his experience here.