Best 10 Eco-friendly/Green Ski Brands

With the effects of climate change encroaching on snow and slope conditions, ski brands are producing gear and garments that are kinder to the planet. And they are catching on in popularity with skiers and snowboarders as they seek ways to preserve the powdery winters they love so much. Below are some of our top picks for eco-friendly companies that are leading the ski industry in innovation, sustainability, and design.


Pure Brandz

This Australian based ski brand prides itself on maintaining high levels of safety and sustainability with products that are 100 percent recyclable and free from environmentally harmful chemicals. Their iconic jackets are crafted with a savvy fabric called SympaTex, a waterproof, windproof, and moisture-wicking fabric that gives maximum warmth in cold, wet conditions. When you’ve felt like you’ve worn out your gear, Pure Brandz offers a buyback program that either contributes to your next purchase or to charity. Order their products online or pick up their gear on your next epic ski trip to Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Canada or Norway.


Ortovox Skitour Outerwear
Photo credit: Ortovox

This German-founded company has been making gear with people and nature in mind since the 1980s. Ortovox ensures safe and fair working conditions for its employees as a member of the Fare Wear Foundation. Ortovox is also a member of EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association), which protects endangered environments worldwide, not just in Europe. As a wool-centered clothing company, Ortovox ensures the highest quality of animal welfare with their “Ortovox Wool Promise,” an incredibly high standard for animal welfare and land management for their Tasmanian sheep farmers. Browse their outerwear by layer, and order online for international shipping.

3. Holden

Holden designs simple, elegant outerwear that easily translates from city to mountains. Holden innovates by using S. Cafe in its gear. This yarn is made with the help of leftover coffee grounds to enhance fiber durability and increase drying time. According to Holden, their S. Cafe fabrics are also naturally antimicrobial, odor absorbent, and UV resistant. As well, Holden’s lightweight jackets feature Primaloft, insulation made from 70 percent post-consumer materials. Order their gear online, at EVO.com, or from their boutique stockists.

4. Picture Organic Clothing

Started by three French friends looking for new jobs that aligned with their values, Picture Organic Clothing was born in more-or-less, a garage. The avid skiers were all passionate about one thing–sustainability. Inspired by the 2008 snowboard movie “Picture This,” the crew created the name for their company. In just 10 years, the company has expanded to over 10 countries, yet still keeps tabs on their carbon footprint with a carbon calculator. Picture uses organic cotton and reuses leftover fabric scraps to line the inside of their jackets. Their line also features a helmet made of 100 percent recycled and organic components. No harmful chemicals are used to make their water-repellent clothing. Order online or at their US partner retailers.

5. Patagonia

No one is leading the environmental charge quite like Patagonia. The father to outdoor brands everywhere and world leader in environmental activism, Patagonia is the retail giant that puts its money where its mouth is. The list of Patagonia’s eco-initiatives goes on, but their most recent decision says it all–10 million dollars earned from the Trump administration corporate tax break went right back to green groups fighting climate change. If you’re inspired to get involved on a grassroots level, check out Patagonia’s online activism search engine, Patagonia Action Works, to find a volunteer event near you. Buy Patagonia online, or most major outdoor retailers like REI.


1. Lokomotiv Skis

Handmade in Scandinavia, Lokomotiv skis are characterized by a sustainable bamboo core, rather than a hardwood core from trees that take much longer to grow. In fact, Lokomotiv doesn’t source any of its wood from North America, an over-forested region. These ski makers also support groups involved in forest regeneration. Lokomotiv skis are made to order depending on your flex preferences, so contact them directly.

2. Nzero

Nzero Eco Ski Waxes

Barcelona-based Nzero makes 100 percent organic and vegetable-based waxes for all snow sports. Their line features cold and hot waxes that don’t harm the environment or the skier. No toxic fumes, smoke, paraffin or pollutants are used in the making of their waxes. Buy Nzero waxes online in Euros only.

3. Badger Sunscreen

Badger Sunscreen

Every savvy skier knows that sunscreen is arguably even more important on the slopes than by the pool. Being closer to the sun and on snow can easily lead to burn. If you want an eco-friendly product, protect yourself with Badger sunscreen, which uses just five simple, pronounceable ingredients. Badger sunscreens are zinc-based with moisturizing sunflower oil and are UVA and UVB resistant. If you find yourself swimming among reefs in the off-season, Badger sunscreen is certified safe for reef diving too. Buy from numerous retailers or direct from Amazon.

4. Niche Snowboards

Niche Snowboards is dedicated to crafting high-quality boards using earth-friendly materials and manufacturing practices. Niche boards feature sustainable wood cores, water-based inks for printing, and flax stringers instead of carbon fiber. For coating, Niche uses eco-friendly epoxy, uniquely crafted from the waste of the paper-pulp and biofuels industry. Buy online at Niche Snowboards.

5. Grown skis

Grown Eco Skis

Grown strives to not only be the most environmentally friendly ski, but also the best performing ski. Function and form take no backseat to their sustainability initiatives. Grown skis are made of alternative materials such as hemp fiber, volcanic basalt rock, and pine tree resin. Ten percent of ski sales are donated to WWF Arctic Program. Buy Grown skis online.

Product Review: BN3TH vs. SAXX

BN3TH and SAXX Underwear
Photo by Andrew Patra.

Like most boys in the 80’s, I grew up wearing tighty-whities. It wasn’t until my later teen years that I realized that there was a bigger world out there when it came to supporting my dangly bits. This came to a head when, due to years of not having proper support, I had to have surgery on a pinched blood vessel on one of the boys. Something had to change.

During athletic activities—hiking, running, jumping, climbing, skiing, cycling—you need to have the proper support. Everything down below needs to be packed away tightly enough so it’s safe from twisting and too much bouncing. Underwear needs to be more than comfortable. It needs to be breathable, quick-drying, and chafe free.

As my own level of activity has increased, I’ve had a difficult time finding running shorts that fit all these criteria. Some brands I’ve found have lasted for a time—providing support and comfortability—but would then wear down leaving me chaffed after short runs and bleeding after longer ones.

Over the last two years, I’ve begun running in Prana Super Mojo Shorts and a pair of Adidas Climalite Boxer Briefs. This combination has worked, but over time, the Adidas Boxer Briefs have worn down, and I’ve run into similar chafing issues.

Needless to say, I was hunting for the perfect combination.

At Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, I had a chance to talk to two underwear companies: BN3TH (pronounced like the properly spelled word “beneath”) and SAXX. Both claimed that they were the best in the market due to the technology they had developed for their products. For BN3TH, it’s their “MyPakage Pouch” and for SAXX their “BallPark Pouch.” So why not put them head-to-head?


SAXX Underwear
Photo by Andrew Patra. Modeled by Nathaniel Nash.

SAXX has been reinventing the underwear category since 2006. Their BallPark Pouch is a hammock-shaped pouch designed to keep your twig and berries in place while minimizing bounce during sport activities. The pouch keeps your equipment separate and safe like a baby kangaroo, preventing the skin-to-skin friction that usually leads to chafing.

The other thing that I liked about the product design was how they reversed the stiching. The flatter, softer side of the fabric is against the body. In the past with other brands, the stitching side would be against the skin, always leading to chaffing or bleeding during longer activities.

The fabric of SAXX’s Volt line is a mixture of polyester (88%) and elastane (12%). This helps fight clamminess and helps wick away moisture away from the skin.


BN3TH Underwear
Photo by Andrew Patra. Modeled by Nathaniel Nash.

BN3TH, formally MyPakage, recently rebranded in Feb 2018. They created the patented MyPakage Pouch Technology as an internal pouch designed to keep your Bilbo Baggins from rubbing against everything else. It keeps everything secure, providing support from every angle, to eliminate the need for shifting and adjusting.

Their design also includes the “Pucker Panel,” which removes the need for seams in your most sensitive areas, reducing the likelihood of chafing.

BN3TH claims that their underwear is so comfortable that it’ll feel like you aren’t wearing anything, like you’re “floating on a cloud.” While I felt like I was still wearing underwear, I did find their product to be very comfortable.

Part of their Working Out collection is the Entourage line. They are collaborations with BN3TH’s entourage—a collection of athletes and artists. The fabric of BN3TH’s Entourage line is a mixture of post-consumer recycled polyester (86%) and spandex (14%), reducing their impacts on the environment. The fabric also reduces the impact on your fish and chips by allowing for a high level of breathability and moisture-wicking. Their underwear also comes in a recyclable and reusable bag.

So… How did they stack up?

Over the past three weeks, our team has taken both products out skiing, snowboarding, hiking, trail-running, and to the crossfit gym. Don’t worry, though, we didn’t share.

And there was no clear winner.

Some team members preferred the look, style, and fit of one brand while others preferred the others.

When it came to the MyPakage Pouch and the BallPark Pouch, it varied as well. Users commented about how their bacon and eggs felt more support in the BN3TH product; feeling like there was a more lift and separation during high-impact activities. Yet, during those same activities, other users preferred SAXX, saying that their crotch luggage felt more secure.

From an aesthetics standpoint, I personally prefer BN3TH’s MyPakage Pouch. However, since wearing both of these brands, I haven’t had any chaffing issues. My Tom and Jerrys are happy, and that’s enough for me.

Both companies make great products. If you’re in the market to upgrade your performance underwear, we’d highly suggest looking at both brands. Just like our team, you’ll have your own opinion, because when it comes to the land down under, everyone is different.

Buy now: BN3TH

Buy now: SAXX

Product Review: Vuori Clothing

Last year, REI had a trail running event at their Boulder location. Wandering through the aisles, I ran into Austin Prideaux from the Vuori clothing brand. He showed me their line up, which included a sweet pair of olive camo running shorts.

The brand, at that point, was a relatively new addition to a lineup of athleisure companies. Their functional design was geared towards a more active demographic. Their products ranged from workout, climbing, running, swimming, hiking, to just relaxing. Whether you’re sweating or chilling, you’ll always look good.

This year, Vuori sent me a few items to give my honest review. 

The brand, at that point, was a relatively new addition to a lineup of athleisure companies. Their functional design was geared towards a more active demographic. Their products ranged from workout, climbing, running, swimming, hiking, to just relaxing. Whether you’re sweating or chilling, you’ll always look good.

Kore Shorts

One of the first things that stood out to me was the internal liner in the shorts. I’ve had a few uncomfortable run ins with other brands that had internal liners that—shall we say—left a negative impression.

The Kore Short felt immediately different when I first put them on. They were the most comfortable running short I have ever worn. The material had better stretch for easy movement and mobility. I also felt that my nether region was better supported.

After running  20+ miles in them across 4,000+ feet of elevation gain, I didn’t have the normal chafing issues I was used to experiencing, which was a joyful thing.

Movement Hoodie

This hoodie has become my go-to hoodie for all my activities. It’s made from an ultra-soft Stretch French Terry fabric and is lined with jersey fabric, making it a great combo that was  moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and super soft. Vuori’s website says that it’s great for traveling, hiking, and chilling, but it quickly became my favorite tech top for running during winter.

During a recent snowfall, I was cruising around Green Mountain in the hoodie, making fresh tracks for around 10 miles, and I was completely comfortable in it. It was able to dry quickly, and I never found myself feeling too hot or too cold. After running, when I got back to the car, I took the hoodie off to see if it was soaked after running two hours in the snow, but the interior was still dry.

Ripstop Climber Pants

For once we’re not going to talk about running.

The Ripstop Climber has a stretchy waist, Vuori’s signature drawstrings, and gusset construction in the crotch area for increased movement. The legs feature a slim fit that’s perfect for hiking, climbing, or walking at Outdoor Retailer for 12 hours.

While bouldering at Movement Gym, I found that the pants had enough stretch without being uncomfortable. I’m hoping to take these outside to do some bouldering on Flagstaff Mountain to see how they hold up.

The Bottom Line

I’m a big fan of Vuori’s clothing line. Their quality and comfortability is outstanding. If I could, I would probably be wearing their product every day. I hope they continue to expand their product line for adventure athletes, because I’d be first in line for them.