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How Berghaus are giving old products a second life

Written by Fiona

December 04 2020

Berghaus has teamed up with Cumbrian climbing company Dirtbags to launch a product range made from repurposed materials. Rehaused by Dirtbags upcycles old Berghaus products to make climbing kit, such as chalk bags.

Berghaus has long been committed, through the MADEKIND™ initiative, to reducing the impact of business activities on the environment. One of the key contributions to this work is making products that last. As well as developing durable kit that does not need to be frequently replaced, the company has for many decades repaired its products free of charge and therefore extending their lifetime.

Now the new collaboration with Dirtbags addresses the issue of what happens to kit when it is finally beyond use.

The Rehaused by Dirtbags sewing table.
Jennifer Wood of Dirtbags.

The launch of Rehaused by Dirtbags

Berghaus contacted Dirtbags’ founder Jennifer Wood to explore whether there was a way to
establish a second life for products that could no longer be used for their initial purpose.

Working with a supply of Berghaus materials and components, Jennifer developed a new product range and Rehaused by Dirtbags was born.

At the heart of the collection are chalk bags for climbers, made from repurposed waterproof and fleece products. Other items in the range include a bum bag, kit bag and a laptop/tablet sleeve.

Berghaus athletes Leo Houlding and Anna Taylor also work with Dirtbags and they put the range to the test on the crags during the build up to launch.

Jennifer said: “Reusing products is much more preferable to recycling – it’s a low-carbon alternative that keeps textiles and components in the economic system without the need for incineration or chemical alteration. It prevents materials from going to landfill, too.

“Not only is this approach already better for the environment, but by choosing Dirtbags as a partner, Berghaus is avoiding air miles. Returns, samples and the unrepairable have made their way from the north east, where Berghaus is based, to our workshop in the Lake District, to find a new home and a second life as completely new products.

“Look carefully at each Rehaused by Dirtbags product and you may recognise signs of a past life: A water-resistant zip, a jacket lining, a hood toggle, or a hook and loop fastening. We cleared a sewing
table, put the kettle on, emptied the huge box of goodies to be remade – and got cracking.”

Paul Anderton of Berghaus.

Berghaus and sustainability

Paul Anderton, interim global brand director at Berghaus, said that addressing the huge challenges of
sustainability is a complex process. He said: “To do it effectively, we have to look at every part of our
supply chain and every aspect of our business activities.

“We’re doing that through MADEKIND, but as good corporate citizens, we also have a responsibility to look beyond and consider what happens to our gear when it finally reaches the end of its useful life.

“We already offer a free repair service as standard, but inevitably there comes a time when a jacket or another piece of kit cannot fulfil its original function.

“Everyone at Berghaus is really excited about the potential of Rehaused by Dirtbags. The range is excellent and it’s great to see our brand associated with this approach to repurposing products.

“In the greater scheme of sustainability, this is a small step, but it’s an important one and it sends out a strong, positive message.”

  • Find out more about the collaboration between Berghaus and Dirtbags.

Worth a read: Berghaus Paclite 2.0 waterpoof jacket review.

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