Work: How Eagle Creek Puts Sustainability First

Work: How Eagle Creek Puts Sustainability First

Written by Eagle Creek on

Eagle Creek was established in 1975 by Steve and Nona Barker, a couple who revered the planet and explored it accordingly. In the process, they invented an entirely new product category: adventure travel gear. Half a century later, no one offers more expertly conceived and crafted gear for experiencing the earth in every hemisphere. Thoughtful, sustainable, function-forward solutions inspired by the belief that travel can be a force for good.

Work: How Eagle Creek Puts Sustainability First

Work: How Eagle Creek Puts Sustainability First

Eagle Creek makes high-quality products that endure, which means that fewer end up in landfills. Learn how else the company's environmentally friendly business practices are making the world a better place.  

For Eagle Creek, integrity is a core value. The company is serious about two things—making high-quality products for travelers and protecting the environment—and takes a variety of steps to achieve both of those goals. Take a look at just how much thought the business puts into every decision that it makes.

Creating Products That Last

When designing product, and then planning every step of the production and distribution process, Eagle Creek leaders ask the question: "What impact will this have on our world?"

Eagle Creek is known for making durable products that can withstand a beating to last a lifetime. You see, durability is an utmost value to the travel gear brand because not only does product resilience benefit customers, but it also means that fewer products end up in landfills. It’s a win-win.

Every zipper, piece of fabric, and buckle is rigorously tested in a lab and then on the road, which explains why Eagle Creek's return rate is less than one percent. The company confidently offers a No Matter What™ Warranty that covers workmanship and materials against defect for the entire life of the product. When creating a product, some companies choose whichever materials are cheapest, but Eagle Creek is adamant about selecting ones that are sturdy and can endure being dropped and dragged during the rigors of any trip.

When malady does get the best of their product, Eagle Creek has 14 repair centers around the globe where products can be returned, repaired and sent back to the customer to continue a lifetime of exploration.

"We create products that don’t break. Some of our consumers have been using their bag for 30 years! This creates for us a little bit of a paradox for us because if a product isn’t broken, there’s no need to buy a new one. That said, we choose our commitment to the consumer and enviornment, over the bottom line.” says Jessica Dodson, Brand Marketing Manager. "People trust us. And we take that trust seriously."

Partnering With Companies That Share Its Ideals

Eagle Creek loves to give back to the great outdoors because it’s where its customers and employees spend much of their time. The company is a member of multiple conservation organizations, including The Conservation Alliance, The European Outdoor Conservation Association and the European Outdoor Group. These organizations focus on preserving the natural environment and protecting threatened wild habitat. Eagle Creek’s active participation in conservation efforts and trade organizations allow them to lead product innovation and produce responsible products.

Integrally a part of the VF Corp’s sustainability practice, Eagle Creek analyzes its environmental footprint to identify areas where our impacts can be addressed in all future endeavors.

Eagle Creek has partnered with bluesign® since 2011. bluesign® is a sustainable textile company, who certifies the elimination of harmful substances beginning with the fabric mills. Eagle Creek chose this partnership as a way to ensure their own practices are environmentally friendly and provide safe production from the beginning to the end of their manufacturing process.

While durability and product longevity are the core drivers, Eagle Creek also looks at every manufacturing process and opportunity to lessen the carbon footprint. Some such examples include recycling every foam scrap into new sheets of foam, changing fabric polyurethane coating processes from chemical-based to water-based, and in 2016, Eagle Creek switched all durable water repellent coatings from C8 to C6, which sends less by-products into the environment. Eagle Creek continually works with suppliers to further reduce waste and emissions as well as improve worker safety.

Eagle Creek also assures that sustainability extends to worker well-being at suppliers, and all individuals engaged in Eagle Creek work are treated with integrity, honesty, respect and dignity.  Conducting business with high standards is non-negotiable. VF’s Global Compliance Program and its 16 principles are consistent with the core labor standards established by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production, the Fair Labor Association and the International Labor Organization, and has helped improve working conditions around the world.

Attracting Value-Driven Customers

To sum this all up, Eagle Creek cares. At its core, being socially and environmentally conscious is a value they embrace and this isn’t changing. Design, manufacturing, and conducting business with integrity is the absolute best way to do business.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Responsible Sourcing

Live Work Travel / Corporate Responsibility Program

Buy A Bag Change A Life.