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Alpkit's sustainability drive: "We put people and planet before profit"

British brand says that it sent 98% of orders in plastic-free packaging last year, and made over 2000 product repairs to drive sustainability

Alpkit says that it made over 2000 repairs to products last year, found a new home for three tonnes of gear, and that 98% of orders were sent using plastic-free packaging as part of a sustainability programme that has seen it recognised as providing the highest standards of social and environmental impact.

2021 Alpkit sustainability report(1)

The brand also says that it has increased use of recycled fabrics and materials in its products, sent nothing to landfill from its main sites, and supported food projects in lockdown.

Peak District based Alpkit is now the only bike brand in Europe to be Certified B Corp, and only the second bike brand in the world.

“We are independently assessed against the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Our score is class leading against both an all-business average and our peer group which is a huge achievement for our first assessment,” Alpkit says.

With the aim to leave no trace outdoors, as well as being gentle as a business, Alpkit has six sustainability principles, which are:

  • Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle
  • Respect our environment
  • Treat animals humanely
  • Work with people we believe in
  • Build a better business
  • Give back

Acknowledging “the future of design is circular”, Alpkit says part of its ethos is to make products that consumers will use for longer and for “reuse, repair and recycling” to be within its design process.

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2020 Alpkit Stem Cell.jpg

Over 2163 repairs were made in 2020, a hefty 2.25 tonnes of old kit found a new home with Continuum Projects, zero landfill was produced at the brands main sites and 98% of orders were sent in plastic-free packaging.

Alpkit reports its plans this year are to double its range of clothing products made with recycled content, for all sites to be zero landfill, to develop further its life cycle reviews and to trial plastic-free shipping from factory to Alpkit.

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2020 Alpkit Possum Bikepacking frame bag.jpg

Seeking to minimize the harm of its products without compromising performance or quality, this year all its waterproofs have been developed to be PFC-Free and 100% organic or BCI cotton is used in its clothing.

The brand's air freight volume has reportedly been reduced by a significant 40% since 2018 and now stands at 5%.

2021 Alpkit sustainability report Air freight

The outdoor gear company has reduced its carbon intensity and has offset Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gases through UK based tree planting projects.

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2020 Alpkit Wax Cotton Kanga 4.jpg

As part of its sustainability efforts, Alpkit says it devotes time to knowing its factories personally and spends time with them to personally review conditions.

“We work with the best factories in the world and only work with factories where we share an ethos,” Alpkit says.

2021 Alpkit Sustainability report map factories.JPG

All have signed up to the Ethical Trading Base Code and 100% of UK outsourced staff are paid Living Wage Foundation pay. To further its progress in this area, Alpkit hopes to work closely with its tier one factories and mills to develop joint environmental plans.

Giving back, the aim of Alpkit's Foundation charity is to help people get outdoors and this year claims to have supported 15,000 people, with over 900 projects and £300,000 given to education, environment, diversity, mental health and participation projects.

Alpkit’s full 2021 sustainability report can be found here.

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