Sustainability is ultra-fashionable right now, but don’t fall victim to greenwashing. Some brands are putting profits on the line… or better yet, to an actual environmental cause. James Tugwell takes a look at one such jacket from XTM Performance.
It’s no new news that . They need what feels like constant protection from, well, ourselves.
The axe always seems to be poised at the trunk of the tree; the ocean water always warmer and the coral always more bleached or
What if we could just chuck money at all our ecological problems so they went away, forever? It’d be nice, but impossible. Simply, money won’t solve all our climate issues.
Don’t get me wrong, ! Every transaction we make is supporting a cause — or inadvertently hurting one. So you want to ensure your gear purchases are supporting companies that produce goods and services with no negative externalities.
That’s why I love XTM’s Tarkine Rain Jacket — because it comes as bloody close to effectively throwing money at a problem as it gets.
XTM has designed the jacket with the environment at the forefront — or more specifically, the forest.
Firstly, the Tarkine Rain Jacket is a certified carbon-neutral product. If I’m spending money (and where I do that matters, remember) I want to be supporting and encouraging companies that are innovating to reduce the climate impact of their production process or, as in this case, make it completely carbon neutral.
XTM has committed all profits from the sale of the Tarkine Rain Jacket to Save The Tarkine Foundation.
So what is the Tarkine and why is there a foundation to save it?
What is the takayna / Tarkine Rainforest?
Takayna/Tarkine is 495,000 hectares of ancient rainforest situated in northwestern Tasmania.
It’s Australia’s largest temperate rainforest, the second largest in the world, and one of the last remaining undistributed tracts of ancient rainforest left anywhere on Earth.
Because you’re reading it here on WAE, that alone has probably convinced you takayna is worth protecting.
A United Nations air monitoring station has measured the air blowing through takayna as the cleanest air in the world, such is the filtering and cleansing power of the ancient rainforest trees.
The area is also of longstanding significance to the Traditional Owners of the land. It has one of the highest concentration of Aboriginal sites anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
A place this unique attracts unique species and, every November since 2015, scientists and citizens come from across the world to count and identify the species in the rainforest.
As you would expect, takayna is home to more than 60 species listed as endangered, rare, or threatened.
Why does something so good need protection?
Sadly, this question has to be asked. If takayna is so marvellous, why is there a Foundation to protect it? Surely it would be protected already. The answer is no. It remains unprotected.
The main two threats to takayna are mining and logging. Vast areas of the rainforest are covered by mining leases which threaten to tear up the rainforest roots and all.
What’s more, there is a permanent logging zone of over 30,000 hectares of rainforest. Logging hasn’t occurred since 2020, thanks to the work of the Bob Brown Foundation, but the threat is not permanently eradicated.
Both Patagonia and the Bob Brown Foundation have significantly raised the profile on takayna, but it’s still unprotected. It’s time to fight for the protection of our most precious forests.
That’s what the Save the Tarkine Foundation does, and it’s why I’m already feeling good, and I haven’t even tried on the jacket.
What is the Tarkine Jacket?
Sometimes, from my experience, you can buy something that’s ethical and there’s a trade off — the item simply doesn’t have the same performance attributes. So, you feel good about where you spend your money, but not good about the product itself.
With the Tarkine rain jacket, that’s simply not the case.
It has all the requisite outdoor specs, a 15,000mm waterproof rating (able to withstand most downpours) and a breathability rating of 10,000.
It’s also seam-sealed and has top-notch zippers.
But what I love more about the Tarkine rain jacket, is that environmentalism is right at the heart of it.
It’s PFC-free, meaning the creation of the DWR water-resistant coating isn’t leaking chemicals into our waterways and as mentioned earlier, it’s a certified carbon-neutral product — the emissions created by manufacturing the jacket are off-set post-production.
So no, we can’t quite throw money at climate change and make it go away, but we can buy products that support climate solutions, protect our native areas, reduce their environmental footprint and encourage people to get outside exploring and learn to appreciate the outdoors.
The more we support brand initiatives like the Tarkine Jacket, the more we force other companies to make the environment a priority.
Cover image by @henry_brydon