How To Buy Gear More Responsibly

If you're into outdoors sports, you're probably going to need some gear to help you get out there safely and enjoyably. Purchasing this doesn't have to put a whole in your wallet or the ozone layer though.

Here are 6 tips on how to buy gear more responsibly, so that you can better #exploreandprotect!

Packing Gear

1. Buy Less

Whether you're working in the outdoors or just exploring it for recreational purposes, there always seems to be one piece of gear you didn't have which would have made your experience that little bit better. It can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly convincing yourself you 'need' something more than you already have. Trust me, I know.

But actually making do with what you have and asking yourself whether you really need something is probably one of the easiest things you can do to be a more responsible consumer; saving you time, money and guilt (from killing the planet, ya know ;)). 

"Buy less, choose well, make it last" - Vivienne Westwood

2. Shop 2nd Hand

Op shopping seems to be all the rage for purchasing every day clothes - why not make it trendy for buying your outdoor equipment too? A mate of mine is an absolute whizz at finding quality gear at op shops, having scored most of his current hiking equipment from simply being patient and persistent. I'm talking a 70L hiking pack, clothes, boots, cook wear - if you need it, he would have found it.

If your local op shops don't have what you're looking for and you don't have time to wait before the next trip, check out Facebook Marketplace and Facebook groups like Gear Freak and Ultralight Gear Australia. With thousands of group members and posts being made every single day, there's a high chance you'll be able to score a bargain there. 

3. Purchase Equipment That Can Be Repaired and Repair It!

If your gear is looking worse for wear, think about how you could give it a little TLC before you donate or sell it off. Companies like Gear Aid sell repair equipment that'll help your gear last longer, meaning that you can save money on purchasing new gear and give your equipment a longer life. Getting nifty with your old gear might teach you a new skill that might be valuable in the field too, something which is sure to come in handy one day.

4. Purchase From Ethical Companies

How can you actually purchase a tent for $20 and expect the workers who made it to have been paid fairly? Taking time to look into the companies you are giving your money too can help you be a more responsible shopper; ensuring you're looking after both the planet and its people.

Some kind companies we'd recommend - Team Timbuktu, Patagonia and Wild Search. Some unkind companies - just do your research, we're not in the business to name names (only if they're doing good <3).  

Team Timbuktu Makers

The people who make Team Timbuktu apparel.

5. Choose Earth Friendly Items

Purchase gear that's better for the planet! This is what toitū is all about, so of course it's part of this list. We're trying to encourage and simplify the process of finding and buying 'greener' gear.

Two simple ways to do this is to avoid single use items (particular those that contain plastics in their construction or packaging), and purchasing things that are made from eco materials (such as natural fibers like wool and hemp, or compostable and biodegradable materials). 

6. Purchase High Quality Items

Finally, if all else fails and you have to purchase new, try buy equipment that's of a high quality. Often that means spending a little bit more money, but it'll probably last longer without needing repaired or replaced, and there's a greater chance the workers who made it will receive a fair wage. 

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