Do Waterproofing Chemicals Harm the Environment?

We at Coalatree pride ourselves on making eco-friendly goods you can take anywhere. In every step of the design, manufacturing, and shipping process, we look for ways to be more sustainable and minimize our impact. People ask us lots of questions about this, so we want to take time to share a little more about our eco initiatives with you.

Most of our goods are made from recycled or repurposed materials. Instead of creating new threads, our partners find discarded yarns and even plastics, then melt them down and spin them into new fibers. Our Trailhead Shorts, Pants, and Kachula Adventure Blanket are just a few of our items made this way.

Our factory partners are working towards zero emissions by incorporating sustainable energy use right into their buildings, such as water-saving machinery, low-impact ventilation, and solar lighting. Many of them have replaced areas of concrete and asphalt (which can become “heat islands”) with green spaces for employee relaxation, picnics, and even farming. Our partner who makes the Trailhead Shorts and Pants even has an on-site wetland! Since dedicating part of their land to this wetland, they’ve seen an increase in local biodiversity with more birds, butterflies, earthworms, and bees.

Conventional manufacturing methods use toxic chemicals, produce hazardous waste, and contribute significantly to carbon emissions. We work only with facilities that are bluesign® approved, ensuring the highest standards are met in efficiency, safety, and clean manufacturing, so no harsh chemicals ever need to harm the environment. This includes the way we apply the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish to our products. Instead of conventional spraying and dipping, our partners apply a vapor coating which eliminates the need for those nasty chemicals.

We love trees, too! And we want to keep our forests healthy. Our hangtags and packaging are printed on recycled paper with post-consumer waste content, keeping trash out of landfills and preserving our forests.


Cover photo by Danielle Alling

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