Quite a few companies are popping up now that make great gear from recycled or reclaimed material. For example, as part of their Common Threads program, Patagonia sends used waders to a Seattle company called appropriately enough Recycled Waders. The Company takes old, worn out waders and repurposes them into everything from beer coozies and reel cases, to wallets, and waterproof courier bags.
Ecological Designs, a relatively new Boulder, Colorado company, was founded by Davidson Lewis. Lewis was intent on creating a sustainable outdoor products manufacturer after seeing all the waste coming from bike repair shops. Green Guru Gear, the first brand to launch for the Company, takes blown out tires, old billboards, climbing ropes, wetsuits and plastic bottles to turn into everything from cool bags and wallets, to bracelets and key chains. The Company plans to launch Green Goddess Gear for women soon. Check out all the Green Guru products at their online store.
Though American companies seem to be the pioneers of recycling programs, Europe is leading the way on standardization. The Sustainability Working Group, part of the European Outdoor Group, is spearheading an industry wide End of Life solution. The committee aims to provide industry wide answers to sustainable business models, quantified impacts, and education programs for consumers and key stakeholders.