Outdoor Industry Association

Case Studies

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Join the more than 450 companies voluntarily collaborating to identify and reduce the environmental and social impacts of their products.

The OIA Sustainability Working Group has an open membership. We encourage all companies throughout the supply chain to participate. There is no cost to join. OIA SWG voting members pay an annual fee, based on a sliding scale tied to corporate revenue and OIA membership.

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Get Started with Sustainability

If your company is new to the concept of benchmarking and measuring the sustainability of your products, or you are generally looking to build the sustainability capacity within your organization, check out these tips to get started.

Why should your company put time and resources into creating more responsible products? Here are just a few reasons to consider:

  • Hedge against rapidly growing resource scarcity
  • Create efficiency opportunities
  • Realize cost savings
  • Mitigate risk to brand reputation – “getting your house in order” in today’s world of radical transparency and social media campaigning
  • Mitigate risk of supply chain interruption
  • Stay in front of current and pending governmental regulation
  • Create opportunities for innovation and leadership
  • And yes, consumer demand for responsible products is also an important factor — but not the only one!

Here are some examples of companies and the business benefits they have realized from their sustainability efforts:

  • After Nau worked with its manufacturing partners to improve transparency and data collection around production activities, the company's factories started providing better data and became competitive about trying to provide the best information in order to be able to decrease their impacts.
  • By removing the printing from the inside of each shoe box lid, Brooks Running reduced its shoe box printing costs by 8 percent. The company also created two additional shoe box sizes, allowing for a tighter fit around several core shoe sizes, which saved the company 35,000 square meters of material.
  • In re-designing its Jam Pack backpack, GoLite reduced the carbon footprint of the primary textile used by approximately 30 percent while maintaining the performance and durability of the product.
  • After Patagonia encouraged its supply chain to adopt more sustainable practices, 11 of its textile mills adopted the Bluesign standard, which enabled Patagonia to reduce the costs and time associated with monitoring its vendors.
  • K2 piloted the equipment index in order to identify ways to improve the product-level sustainability of one of its top-selling skis. After reviewed its Index scores, the company decided to reduce its packaging and use more recycled content in it. K2 also now ships more by sea than by air, which saves significant amounts of both fuel and money.
  • Nester Hosiery piloted the facilities module of the Higg Index and identified areas for improvement in manufacturing. The company then implemented a new washing process that reduced the company’s total annual water consumption by 25 percent even while increasing the amount of products washed by 12 percent.  
  • Portland Development Commission and OIA funded a pilot of the Higg Index for Apparel, enabling Columbia Sportswear, Icebreaker, KEEN and Korkers to identify ways to revamp their sourcing and manufacturing. This helped these companies establish thoughtful road maps for improving product sustainability and how to engage more staff with the Index.

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Team up with the OIA community and start enjoying the benefits of membership. Provide your staff with the tools to run your business more efficiently and effectively.