Nemo Sustainability

Sep 10, 2018

We love our planet and the places we adventure.

At NEMO we believe being a sustainable business is about so much more than checking a box. We don’t sweep this task aside to a “committee” so everyone else can get on with their work.

Rather, every single person who joins our team is deeply motivated to use NEMO and their own energy to make the world a better place — to minimize each of our impacts, to maximize all of our actions, to create an ongoing conversation about what it means to truly love this planet and these wild spaces.

The result is a team driven from the inside out to tackle challenges from the simple (let’s use solar!) to the complex, like reformulating durable water repellents.

Let us share with you the NEMO way we think about sustainability.

Start Here: To Be or Not to Be

We have a design philosophy we live by, which starts by asking the most fundamental question: should we even be making this product? See, a lot of brands just try to make a different version of what’s already out there, but at NEMO we believe the world has enough stuff already. We have vowed to only design and create things that provide a meaningfully better experience. And if they don’t, we don’t make them. It’s that simple.

Designed to Last, Not to Landfill

We’re obsessed with quality and durability, creating gear that lasts longer and stays out of landfills. For example, we’re taking waterproof coating head on, eliminating the use of the industry-standard polyester-based urethanes. This change extends tent life significantly, as much as doubling durability. When our products do wear out, we stand behind them with a full lifetime warranty.

Fix It Up, Don’t Throw It Out

Our first choice is always repairability. Sometimes with a few stitches or a new pole, great old gear can have years’ more life. If your gear is suffering some frays and tears, consider getting it repaired by our team. This not only is the responsible choice, but allows you to keep piling up the memories in that same tent you love so much.

Animal Welfare

Down is considered by many to be nature’s best insulator, with high-loft clusters that keep heat from escaping your sleeping bag, jacket or blanket. But the story behind conventional down is ugly, which is why we use down that is 100% Responsible Down Standard certified. This standard ensures our down is completely traceable back to its source–ducks and geese that have been treated humanely, never force fed, and never live-plucked.

Leading in Safe Chemistry

We believe in working side-by-side with other companies who share our supply chain, banding our efforts together at a pre-competitive level to solve challenges and remove harmful chemicals from the supply chain. Our Director of Engineering is helping to lead an industry-wide effort to develop safer alternatives for flame retardants and durable water repellent coatings (it’s helpful that he’s armed with a PhD from Harvard in materials science.)

We’re also fighting to change outdated state regulations that require the use of toxic chemicals that are unnecessary. You’ll note that some of our tents made with silicone-treated fabrics do not include these chemicals, and therefore cannot be sold in all states.

Transparently and Honestly Measuring Impact

We think about the costs of manufacturing our gear–meaning the cost to the environment and the social impact. The story of manufacturing consumer goods, including outdoor gear and apparel, has not traditionally been a pretty one. But with transparency, measurement, goals, and cooperation, we have been working to understand and modify our supply chain to be one that actually provides value at each step.

We were one of the first small brands to complete the Higg Index, evaluating our environmental impact throughout the supply chain and pinpointing areas for improvement. We’ve set aggressive goals, and intend to continually reduce our negative impact and increase our positive contributions.

Impact Starts on the Inside

At NEMO, we love our GO HELP Program, which mobilizes our employees to live their values by providing time off to volunteer. From our early days cleaning up our local beach once a month, to today, when we’re passionately rallying behind preserving local forests used for wildlife passageways, our team at NEMO is united in our belief that each little action counts. Each trail-clearing day, each pound of garbage, each kid having their first day on the trail, each tract of land we help keep wild.

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