2 min read • By Wyatt West, Staff Writer & Outdoor Fiend, Timberdog®
We at Timberdog® love finding out about new companies who are tackling climate change in innovative ways. Recently, on a search for used outdoor gear, I saw an ad for Gear Washers. Located in Denver, Colorado, they’re a little but mighty crew that washes your outdoor duds with some eco-friendly suds. Woman-led by Anabelle McLean and finalist for the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards, Gear Washers joins a growing “reconomy” that brings new life to old gear.
Emphasizing being thankful for what is, Gear Washers tackles old puffy jackets, down sleeping bags, backpacks, tents and more, cleaning them into their original vibrant color and new, extended life. Other than making your things sparkly, washing gear has many other advantages. As dirt and grime attract water, cleaning your old layers naturally re-waterproofs them, making them dry and warm again. And in the backcountry, warm and dry equals safety, which is everything.
Using high-efficiency industrial washers, McLean launders both synthetic and down items, adjusting how much water she’s using for each load, saving tens of thousands of gallons of water per year. Her detergents don’t contain propellant gases or fluorocarbons, are low-impact on the environment (biodegradable and water-based), and uses packaging that is 100% recyclable, as well. She also re-waterproofs and UV-proofs gear that needs it, using eco-friendly products. She can’t stand the idea of throwing out old gear when she knows she can make it a thing of beauty again.
“If you don’t want to restore it, please consider donating the item or consigning it,” she implores.
As Timberdog advances towards closed loop manufacturing, whereby nothing sold ever ends up in landfills, we will seek to work with companies like Gear Washers, who are making a dent in the marathon to save our precious planet.
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