Greening of the Snowsports industry, part 1: SIA 2016

The Snowsports Industry of America convened their annual trade show last week at the Colorado Convention Center, gathering 956 brands, including 110 new and debuting exhibitors, and 18,000 industry members to the SIA Snow Show.

Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, opened the 2016 show.  In partnership with Protect Our Winters (POW), SIA hosted invited Ms. McCarthy, who spoke to the impact that climate change imposes on the snow sport industry, noting the importance of immediate action from a total collective of the global community.  “We have to keep building momentum. Your voice matters. Look at how many young people [the snow sports industry] can connect with at a moment’s notice,” said Administrator McCarthy. “People who are feeling through their own experience that the world is changing and they want to do something about it. You give them a platform for that – you give them a voice.”

The green theme continued at several booths throughout the show.  Phunkshun Wear proudly incorporated REPREVE recycled fiber in all necktubes and balaclavas featured in the 2017 collection. By switching to REPREVE, each individual Phunkshun Wear necktube or balaclava produced will save an average of 10 to 15 bottles from landfill.  NILS women’s ski apparel recycled last year’s fabric remnants into fashionable tote bags, and features eco-friendly Tencel in their “Body Zone” base layers.  The Tencel fabric is made from wood pulp cellulose and produced using a non-toxic solvent that’s 99% recoverable and recyclable.  The snowboard manufacturers from Mervin Manufacturing noted that “we have been green from day one” and have never used solvents or “bad stuff” to make their board.

In addition to a general feeling of increased eco-consciousness, several players in the industry have introduced initiatives that are kinder to the earth, and its inhabitants, as we will describe in Part 2 of this story, to come soon.

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