If you live in Northern Nevada you are in on a little secret: Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe, and beyond have some of the best outdoor adventures!
If you are an active, outdoors-loving family, you will find year-round activities at your doorstep. And even more so, you’ll find some awesome sustainable outdoor apparel brands and stores, here!
Activities include skiing, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, climbing, kayaking, golfing, and boating to name a few. Lake Tahoe, the largest Alpine Lake in North America, known for translucent water and endless trails and beaches, is a short drive away.
No doubt, you will need outdoor apparel, gear, and accessories for yourself and the whole family for your high desert, mountain, and lake adventures.
The outdoor industry is leading the way with sustainable practices. If you love spending time in nature– you can’t live without your breathable fabrics, microfleece, smartwool, and down puffer jacket.
I will share my favorite brands, sustainability certifications that are useful to know about, brick-and-mortar retail stores and online sites to visit, plus insider tips to make you a more selective shopper!
Top Outdoor Apparel Brands
It makes sense that outdoor apparel and gear companies are leading the way when it comes to taking responsibility for the products they make.
These are companies created by people who are passionate about protecting the environment, have lifelong reverence for nature, and refuse to follow the status quo.
You can go to any of these company websites and read about their sustainable practices, certifications, and goals. You can go to their corporate headquarters and retail stores to see sustainable practices in use.
If I had to pick favorites, these are the most innovative, socially and environmentally conscious companies out there. Their products are known worldwide for innovation, style, quality, and performance.
My Top Picks: Sustainable Outdoor Apparel
Each of these brands has excellent outdoor apparel for kids, too.
Outdoor apparel companies are leading the way with sustainable practices, as I mentioned, and have many worldwide recognized certifications they have earned.
Textile Exchange is important because it’s a global non-profit organization that works with companies (such as REI) to advise best practices in farming, animal welfare, materials used, production methods, and product end-of-life.
If you are an animal lover, you will be happy to know this organization developed industry standards for animal welfare. The Responsible Down Standard and the Responsible Wool Standard. (see next paragraph, Certifications to Look For)
I’ve written about the benefits of organic fabric for your infant and certifications to look for in my past article Organic Clothing and Bedding for Baby and Kids. In outdoor apparel, there are a few more certifications to be on the lookout for.
As consumers we’re getting more interested in where products come from and how they are made. For the first time, information is at your fingertips, if you know where to look. Start with looking at the fabric content label and any additional certifications present.
It is possible to choose to buy products that are ethically sourced and made!
Did you know that duck and geese down feathers are the filler for your favorite puffer jacket or sleeping bag? Textile Exchange has shed light on animal welfare and developed this standard for companies to follow.
This ensures the well-being of our feathered friends by banning inhumane practices.
Tip: If you’re looking to avoid animal-sourced down, PrimaLoft is an excellent, sustainable alternative. PrimaLoft is high-performance synthetic insulation.
When you buy certified organic fabric, you are purchasing fabric that has gone through rigorous testing. You can be sure there is no use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals in the growing and production process.
Additionally, organic fabrics use low-impact dyes (meaning less water is required). The entire process of organic farming (avoiding genetically modified seeds and heavy pesticides) is less damaging to land, waterways, workers’ health and the overall environment than conventional farming. It makes sense!
Scheels flagship store is located at 1200 Scheels Drive at the Legends at Sparks Marina. This Fargo, North Dakota-based retailer is worth a visit, it is an experience. It’s like a city in itself, in a 295,000 square-foot space. You may need a few hours for your visit!
Scheels has all the top outdoor apparel brands for men, women, and kids. Also there are several shops that feature Scheels Outfitters exclusive products. If there is an activity you need gear for, you will find it here.
Cabela’s is located at 8650 Boomtown Garson Road in Verdi. This Nebraska-based retailer is a 10 minute drive West from downtown Reno. It is an experience. It has a huge 125,000 square-foot space packed with outdoor gear and apparel.
Although they are known for hunting and fishing specialty gear, they also provide all the top outdoor apparel brands for men, women, and kids.
Tip: Cabela’s is dog-friendly; they even provide a limited number of indoor/outdoor kennels available for customers to use. You may leave your dog there while you shop if you choose.
Where to Shop Online and Local to Reno for Outdoor Apparel
Owned by Backcountry, this site has limited quantity discounted gear from major brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and more. These are past-season items or colors but the deals are 30-60% off most products!
Formerly Sierra Trading Post, Sierra specializes in discounts, closeouts, and overstocks on the full spectrum of outdoor gear and clothing.
Tip: There is a brick-and-mortar Sierra located in Reno at 6139 S. Virginia St. right next to Whole Foods!
Choose Ethically Sourced and Made, if you can
In Reno, Nevada, we love spending time in nature. Lake Tahoe is the number one getaway. No matter what activity you choose, there is outdoor apparel, gear and accessories you’ll need to outfit the whole family.
A few insider tips:
Buy high-quality items. Buy used items. Repair, Recycle or Donate when necessary.
Look for Down and Wool certifications that align with animal welfare standards.
Question terms like “Eco” or “Green” whenever you can’t find supporting details about a sustainability standard that underlies that claim.
Read the sustainability reports from outdoor brands (easily found online). Shop leading brands that care about the environment and workforce.
Shop local when you can, it benefits the local economy. It cuts down on packaging and travel distance for shipped items, so reduces the carbon footprint.
Are you an active, outdoors-loving family? What are your go-to sustainable outdoor apparel brands for your adventures?
Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.