Sustainability is one of Storm Creek’s most important company values. It’s a commitment that’s been part of our company for many years already—well before it appeared on the radar.
Performance Apparel and Plastics
Storm Creek founder and co-owner Doug Jackson has been in the outdoor apparel industry for several decades. An early employer sent him overseas where he received a hands-on education about the materials used in performance wear from the researchers and factories there.
“The only way you can make true performance apparel is with polyester or nylon—synthetic materials—which come from the oil and gas industry,” Doug said. “But because we were in the ski and outdoor industry, which is very much about the earth and nature, we started saying, ‘Let’s do what we can.’”
Doug and others in the industry decided they would do better whenever they could do better. From then on, his goal has been to develop a truly sustainable line for a better environment, while maintaining the high performance and quality of the garments we make.
When co-owner (and Doug’s wife) Teresa Fudenberg joined Storm Creek, she was all-in on the company’s sustainability commitment. (Read their story here.)
Storm Creek’s Sustainability Story
We have a long-standing relationship with Asian textile factories that specialize in the process and development of fine polyester yarns made from recycled plastic water bottles. Their researchers continually produce improved recycled yarns we can then use in our garments.
In 2013 we began with a jacket made from recycled plastic bottles. “No one cared at first,” said Doug. But we continued to innovate and redesign to include more and more recycled materials in more and more products. We educated our customers when we had the opportunity and eventually had buy-in from them, too.
Beyond saving millions of plastic bottles from harming the environment, making fabric from recycled bottles versus virgin polyester reduces carbon emissions.
“The fun thing is we help our customers count their impact,” said Teresa. Each of our product pages has a badge that displays how many recycled bottles are used in that product.
High Quality is a Pillar of Sustainability
Storm Creek sells directly to the consumer, but we also have corporate customers that will buy thousands of items at a time.
“With selling by volume like that we don’t have a choice but to be more responsible with all of our practices,” said Teresa. “A thousand jackets that nobody likes would be the fastest things to go in a landfill. So it’s not just making them with some recycled materials—it’s making them high quality so you don’t have to get a new one every year.”
Doug agrees. “Our industry is so price driven. We’ve always said we want our products to perform at the highest quality level possible. We work hard on our fit. We don’t make our garments as cheaply as we can—we want to go the extra step to make them better. We want our customers to wear their Storm Creek apparel over and over again because it’s better for everyone. I think more customers are seeing that now.”
Other Sustainable Practices We’ve Adopted
In a world dominated by fast fashion, we’re committed to sustainability and aim to minimize our footprint in more than one way. This page on our website details commitment here at Storm Creek.
Besides saving over 24 million plastic bottles from oceans and landfills (as of mid-2023), we’re proud to have adopted these other environmental and ethical practices:
- Member of 1% for the Planet which directly supports environmental nonprofits
- Partnership with Clovery that’s produced 36.4 metric tons of offset carbon
- Bluesign® or Oeko-Tex® certification of many of the mills we use
- Work with factories that are WRAP and BSCI certified
- Avoid chemicals deemed a health concern in both our products and packaging
Our employees are proud to work for a company that embraces the high level of sustainability we practice. And our customers are more and more proud of buying from us because of it—as everyone learns about harmful environmental impacts and is eager to do something about it.