Outdoor Recreation

137 Unrepairable Jackets Become 1 Tent

Written by teobrito.com

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One of the biggest challenges that the outdoor industry faces is that of its own waste. The products and apparel that brands sell for use outdoors have a lifespan. When that lifespan is over, many of those items end up in landfills. And, they can take decades to degrade and are often harmful to the environment.

This is why many outdoor brands explore different ways to reuse and recycle worn-out, damaged gear otherwise destined for the garbage. It’s what Arc’teryx calls, “A paradigm shift to how we create is essential to our future,” in its latest video edit, Continuum.

The film is part ski movie, part poetic narrative, and part sustainability story. It features athletes Michelle Parker, Elena Hight, Spencer O’Brien, Lucy Sackbauer, Robin Van Gyn, and Tatum Monod.

Between shred segments where the pro skiers and boarders slash powder turns, crush pillows, and escape avalanches, they tell a unique story of circulatory.

In partnership with Arc’teryx, the group recycled 137 unrepairable jackets. With them, they made one technicolored pyramid-style tent that would have made Joseph and his Dreamcoat jealous.

Circularity in the Outdoor Industry

(Photo/Arc’teryx)

It isn’t feasible for most people to get their hands on so many destroyed jackets and sew them into a usable, reliable tent. Even six decorated pro skiers couldn’t have destroyed so many Arc’teryx jackets (that would be about 22 per person). And more than likely, it was Arc’teryx that did all of the designing and actual stitching together of the tent.

However, none of that is addressed by the film.

Still, Continuum is a beautiful demonstration of circularity. Just because something has reached the end of its life, doesn’t mean it’s no longer useful or usable.

“What was once many jackets, full of memories from adventures past, [is] now a shield from the storm and a physical place to create more.”

Brands are trying to institute programs to achieve something similar on a greater scale. Arc’teryx has its ReBird repair program. That program is meant to extend the life of its products for as long as possible.

Other brands like Cotopaxi make packs and bags out of excess scrap textiles that would have otherwise been thrown away. And, Patagonia makes scrap apparel from pieces of textile left on its cutting room floors.

The idea behind Continuum is being implemented and explored. This blended film artistically demonstrates how it can be done, and why, even though it doesn’t really give us any insights into how this recycled scrap tent performed, or what’s going to happen to it now that filming is over.

We’d like to think that these athletes drew straws to keep it, and one of them is continuing to use it to this day.

Runtime: 22 min., 55 sec.

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