This article is brought to you by Kathmandu  in partnership with We Are Explorers.

Nature frothers like you and I are pretty passionate about protecting the environment. At We Are Explorers we get stoked on any brand that’s putting sustainability in the spotlight. Using new technologies, Kathmandu set themselves the challenge of making an über sustainable hoodie. The “Earth Hoodie” is the fruit* of their labour.

*Great pun that you’ll totally understand in a moment.

What’s It Made Of?

Sustainable textiles aren’t new. Whilst far from the norm, organic and fairtrade cottons are gaining traction as people start to think about the impact on their back. We feel pretty strongly about these issues, which is why we chose fairtrade for our We Are Explorers Tees.

The Earth Hoodie is 39% sustainable cotton and 59% recycled polyester, using a fabric Kathmandu calls REPREVE®. This includes the trim and even the drawcords. Apparently getting things like the drawcords made from sustainable cotton is pretty difficult in the industry, so props for that!

Earth Hoodie, Kathmandu, sponsored, blue

On the surface, it looks just like a regular hoodie. I reckon that’s a good thing.

Dyed in the… fruit?

What makes the Earth Hoodie really earthy though is the dye. Most fabric dyes are made using petrochemicals; you don’t need a PHD to know that we’re well on the way to using up the last of the planet’s dinojuice. Not a sustainable option. To counter this, Kathmandu turned to EARTHCOLOR®* dyes, made using waste organic matter from vegetables, fruits and nuts.

*I’m not sure why fabrics and dyes insist on blasting caps lock for their names either.

The biomass based dyes have resulted in three different colours, or to quote the Archroma’s marketing material, three “warm ternary shades from nature”. Check them out:


Earth hoodie, kathmandu, blue

Slate Blue — 54% Saw Palmetto, 21% Beetroot



Earth hoodie, kathmandu, green

Moss — 64% Saw Palmetto, 26% Orange



Earth hoodie, kathmandu, rose

Burlwood Rose — 54% Saw Palmetto, 21% Beetroot



Silly names aside, they’re pretty nice. They’re the kind of colours that go with everything – important for the fashion conscious as hoodies are a daily wear item.

Keensters who actually read the above numbers will notice that Slate Blue and Burlwood Rose have the same percentage of ingredients. Most dyes don’t reach the magic 100%-from-raw-natural-waste figure but it’s a darn sight better than 0%. Kathmandu describes it as their most sustainable hoodie “so far”, so I reckon we can expect the numbers to keep going up in the future.

Oh and because natural dyes are kind of wacky, no two hoodies will be exactly the same colour. I recommend chucking on your favourite pair of hemp pants and heading instore to get the perfect match.

earth hoodie, kathmandu, mens, blue, sustainable

Men’s Earth Hoodie
earth hoodie, kathmandu, womens, rose, sustainable

Women’s Earth Hoodie



Feeling the Captain Planet vibe? Read these.

Why We Chose Fairtrade T-Shirts

What You Don’t Know About Kathmandu

Leave No Trace: 10 Tips To Tread Softly in Our Wild Places

We Are The Change Makers // The “Hike It Out” Campaign