Blog 31.10.2022

Sustainability and our Expedition Kit Partners

Sustainability is such an important factor in today’s society, and here at the DofE, we are striving to go greener. That’s why we’ve partnered with environmentally conscious, trustworthy brands to deliver you fantastic kit recommendations, both in terms of quality and sustainability.

From the type of materials used in the production process, to the packaging used to send these products out in, we understand that to follow our ‘leave no trace’ message, our efforts are in vain if the clothing we wear and the products we recommend are doing a lot of harm.

With that being said, read on to see the brilliant initiatives our partners have come up with to become more sustainable, as well as our top eco-friendly picks from each brand – perfect for outdoor adventure enthusiasts (or for a DofE expedition for that matter!).


As part of their recent ‘Mindfully Made’ mission, our partner, Craghoppers, are committed to creating and adapting a strong, sustainable brand. Having made the huge leap in their use of recycled materials from 12% in Winter 2019 to 70% of products on Winter 2020, they’re truly paving the way for successful sustainable businesses.

To date, they’ve even recycled more than 41 million plastic bottles in their productions!

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks:

Atmos Short Sleeved T-Shirt:

  • A lightweight, versatile t-shirt for on the trail
  • Approximately 8 bottles were recycled to make this product

Waterproof Atlas and Orion Jacket:

  • Breathable and waterproof (8,000mm)
  • 100% polyester
  • Approximately 40 bottles were recycled to make this product


Launched in January 2020, Hi-Tec introduced ‘Project Zero’; an environmental initiative aimed at achieving two objectives:

  1. Carbon Neutral Operations within their offices warehousing and supporting services in the UK.
  2. Deliver to market THE most environmentally considered, functionally fit products and packaging.

Their 5-year plan to achieve carbon neutrality is well under way, with all their shoe/boot boxes being produced from 100% recycled materials and can be 100% recycled. They’ve also been redesigning multiple product specs to use recycled softshell fabrics and plastic bottles!

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks:

V-Lite Psych Mid WP walking boots (men’s and women’s):

  • Protective toe cap for enhanced durability and a rear heel cap from a cradled superior fit
  • 100% recycled polyester
  • Manufactured from 2.81 pieces of a full 380ml recycled plastic bottle

Raven Mid WP walking boots (men’s and women’s):

  • Entirely vegan friendly with no animal by-products used
  • Manufactured from 80% recycled materials and can be 100% recycled


Vango are no strangers to striving for greater sustainability and have been pro-actively doing so for over a decade. Demonstrated through their Spares and Repairs Service to refurbish outdoor gear and give it a second life for adventure, they also recycle components beyond repair and upcycle as much of the remaining fabrics as possible to reduce landfill. We love their innovative upcycling initiative, wherein tent fabrics and sleeping bag fillings are donated to Sheltersuit UK, to be remade into immediate shelter for the homeless.

They also launched their ‘Earth Collection’ last year, which has been a massive sustainable win. The brand is recycling a minimum plastic waste equivalent to 8.2 million plastic bottles this year alone!

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks:

Nevis 200 tent:

  • A compact and lightweight 2-man tent
  • Breathe polyester inner which allows condensation to pass through, for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Contour 60:70 rucksack:

  • Designed for backpackers and explorers on multi-night expeditions
  • Quick Adjust back system allows the user to customise for a perfect fit on a wide range of back lengths

Microlite 200 sleeping bag:

  • Ultra-small pack size and weight
  • Durable, water resistant and easily compressible


Driving their own sustainability initiative, Nikwax has developed the ‘Nikwax Sustainability Roadmap 2025’. Linking in with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Nikwax is focusing on 6 key areas to protect people and the planet: including ethical & fair, clean chemistry, conservation, experts & partners, circularity and climate action.

Their goal? To maximise enjoyment of the great outdoors with minimal environmental impact.

They’ve even bought 10-acres of woodland next to their factory to re-naturalise the area and increase local biodiversity (which is home to foxes, badgers, and deer).

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks:

All products are PFC-free, aerosol-free, and water-based, which degrade into harmless compounds, and are packaged in 100% recycled plastic bottles!

Tech Wash & TX.Direct:

  • Tech Wash cleans, restores water repellency, and revives breathability of your outdoor clothing and synthetic sleeping bags
  • Direct wash-in is an easy to use, high performance waterproofer which adds water repellency and revives breathability without tumble drying.
  • Together they enhance the performance of your gear, keeping you warmer and drier


Bridgedale, our walking sock partner, are committed to the highest standards of animal welfare and only buy wool from suppliers who commit to the IWTO guidelines. These include, but not limited to, ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour, shelter and a comfortable resting area and ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Bridgedale socks use a combination of the highest quality natural yarns, wrapped with high performance microfibres, and are finished on the latest machinery to create socks that ensure all day comfort. All DofE Recommended Bridgedale socks are made from Merino wool which is 100% natural, renewable, and biodegradable. This type of wool, by nature, is a circular fibre.

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks:

HIKE all ranges:

  • Snug merino wool blend will keep your toes warm in the harshest of weather
  • Flat toe seam – reduce irritation and risk of blisters
  • ShockZones – supportive and cushioning for all-day comfort
  • Performance Fit – close and supportive
  • Moisture Management – natural moisture-wicking merino
  • ThermoFit – returns to correct shape and size after every wash
  • Overfoot ventilation zones – improves airflow for heat and sweat management
  • Elasticated Arch and 3D-shaped heel cup – secures foot for extra support

Lifeventure and Lifesystems:

As stated by the Director of Lifeventure and Lifesystems, Richard White, “all products we design go through a checklist to ensure we are doing what we can to make them greener. This includes the packaging, the materials and components used and how we dye, treat, or waterproof the fabric.”

By 2025, Lifeventure aim to use zero plastic packaging and have already stopped using plastic zip ties.

Their measuring the success of their initiatives and striving to be as green as possible.

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks examples:

Recycled SoftFibre Towels:

  • SoftFibre – soft-feel
  • Lightweight and ultra-compact
  • Highly absorbent
  • Treated with Polygiene® odour control
  • Dries 9x faster than a conventional towel

All Purpose Soap

  • Concentrated antibacterial formula
  • Will lather in fresh or brackish water
  • Ideal for hair, body or washing up
  • Biodegradable and pH balanced


Known for questioning their environmental impact and challenging themselves to improve their sustainability practices at every turn, Firepot are passionate about their carbon footprint. In 2018, they launched the expedition food market’s first ever fully compostable packaging and have now upped their sustainability yet again through the ability to recycle their yellow pouches too. They’re the market’s widest range of vegan meals, and Firepot’s plant-based meals emit four times fewer carbon emissions than those containing meat, according to SustainIt, the UK’s leading sustainability data consultancy.

Adding to their expansive sustainable reputation, they’ve even stuck by their West Country roots, using high quality, fresh ingredients available locally. Their fruit and vegetables are still sourced from the same Dorset greengrocer as when they first launched.

Firepot also actively choose to support groups or individuals campaigning to raise awareness of the climate crisis or performing critical scientific research in this area. This includes projects in marine conversation and plastics pollution.

Eco-friendly expedition kit picks examples – THE WHOLE RANGE:

Flavours include Orzo pasta bolognaise, Posh pork and beans, Dal and rice with spinach and much more!

  • Very convenient, can be eaten hot or cold
  • Easy to prepare
  • Full of nutrition and fibre

We hope you’ve found it interesting to learn about the different initiatives our partners are taking to become their best and most sustainable selves! It may even inspire you when looking for new kit to see what your products are made from and where they come from!

You can even save on your purchases!! Just use your DofE Card and save at least 10%, and often more, on all DofE Recommended Kit at our recommended retailers.

Not only does it generate a donation to the DofE charity to help even more disadvantaged young people to complete their Award, but sourcing sustainable products also helps to greenify your footprint!