Stories  –  Conscious choices #1

Sustainability is part of everything I do

Elevenate’s designer Sara Rönngren focuses on sustainability when she’s at the drawing board, on the mountain and in discussions with suppliers.

“A product’s environmental impact is greatest at the manufacturing stage, so it’s vital that our products have lives that are as long as possible,” says Sara Rönngren.

On this basis, she and the design team are constantly making choices, from major to minor, such as the choice of material and supplier, to where seams are located and how they’re sewn to minimise wear and tear. Not to mention the garment’s overall design – which is deliberately timeless, so the clothes can be worn for years and be combined across different seasons.

Elevenate’s products have a consistently high level of durability. The outer fabric for shell garments is preferably nylon, which is more hardwearing than polyester. Sara says that they choose organic cotton and recycled material as much as possible. Recycled polyester is a standard insulation in mid-layers, so there is no reason to hesitate, but for other types of materials the design team must weigh up the pluses and minuses.

“Recycled fibres can sometimes mean a fabric is more likely to pill. If so, we prefer a ‘virgin’, newly-made raw material for its longer life and, over its period of use, a more durable product.”

The textiles industry is currently experiencing great development, such as in the field of bio-based materials.

“Biomaterials are exciting, but are not suitable for skiwear, at least not on their own. Take the Free Tour Pants for example, where we use 50 per cent bio-based nylon – this has been combined with polyester to give it the right properties.”

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