Berghaus has teamed up with Cumbrian climbing company Dirtbags to launch a product range made from repurposed materials. Rehaused by Dirtbags is a collaboration that takes Berghaus products that have reached the end of their usable lives and upcycles the materials into climbing kit such as chalk bags.
Through its MADEKIND™ initiative, Berghaus is committed to significantly reducing the impact of its business activities on the environment and one of the key contributions to this work is making products that last. As well as developing durable kit that does not need to be frequently replaced, the company has for many decades repaired its products free of charge, extending their lifetime. The collaboration with Dirtbags addresses the issue of what happens to kit when it is finally beyond use.
Berghaus contacted Dirtbags founder Jennifer Wood to explore whether there was a way to establish a second life for products that could no longer be used for their initial purpose. Working with a supply of various Berghaus materials and components,she developed a new product range and Rehaused by Dirtbags was born. At the heart of the collection are chalk bags for climbers, made out of repurposed waterproof and fleece products. Other items in the range include a bum bag, kit bag and a laptop/tablet sleeve.
Jennifer Wood, co-founder of Dirtbags Climbing, said, “Reusing products is much more preferable to recycling – it’s a low carbon alternative that keeps textiles and components in the economic system without the need for incineration, or chemical alteration, and of course it prevents materials from going to landfill too. Not only is this approach already better for the environment, but by choosing Dirtbags as a partner, Berghaus is avoiding air miles too. Returns, samples and the unrepairable have made their way from the North East to our workshop in the Lake District, to find a new home and a second life as completely new products.
“Look carefully at each Rehaused by Dirtbags product and you may recognise signs of a past life – a water resistant zip, a jacket lining, a hood toggle, or a hook and loop fastening. We cleared a sewing table, put the kettle on, emptied the huge box of goodies to be remade – and got cracking.”
For Berghaus, Paul Anderton added, “Addressing the huge challenges of sustainability is a complex process and to do it effectively, we have to look at every part of our supply chain and every aspect of our business activities. We already offer a free repair service as standard, but inevitably there comes a time when a jacket or another piece of kit cannot fulfil its original function. In the greater scheme of sustainability, this is a small step, but it’s an important one and it sends out a strong, positive message.”