words:: Ben Osborne
photos:: Alain Denis
To make highly technical and environmentally-conscious apparel is no easy task, but after more than 40 years of producing game-changing clothing, Craft Sportswear is a brand that seems up to it. Known for producing high-quality performance-oriented cycling gear over the past four decades, the brand is charting a new route and setting an example of what a holistic approach to sustainability looks like.
Along with a slew of sustainability initiatives like using only organic cotton, recycled polyester, and a goal to have sustainable materials built into every part of the supply chain, the brand is taking their environmental responsibility seriously—and it comes from the top down. In the past few years, Craft CEO Amber Nero, an avid biker herself, placed an emphasis on protecting natural resources, sustainability, and using recycled materials—and their latest collaboration with family-owned clothing brand Ambler out of Nelson, BC is perhaps the greatest example of their holistic commitment to the environment.
“Canadians care deeply about our natural world. It’s a core part of who we are.”
The “Wild Ride” from Craft and Ambler collection features mens and womens bike jerseys made of 100% recycled materials, and $1 from each purchase will be donated Canadian Parks and Wilderness (CPAWS). As Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of public land and water, they were a natural choice for a brand looking to take a wholesome approach to sustainability.
“Partnering with CRAFT Sportswear is a unique way for people to support our work when purchasing quality gear for their cycling or running adventures,” says Sandra Schwartz, National Executive Director of CPAWS. “The funds raised help us fight against the delisting of parks and protected areas across the country, fight against inappropriate commercial extraction activities that endanger and fragment habitats of species at risk, and fight for the preservation of delicate marine ecosystems. Canadians care deeply about our natural world. It’s a core part of who we are and CPAWS is committed to helping Canada reach its commitment of protecting 25% of our land and ocean territory by 2025, and 30% by 2030.”
On top of their commitment to protecting the environment and giving back to the natural treasures of Canada, by teaming up with Ambler, Craft is giving back to the small outdoors-oriented community of Nelson, BC.
Ambler, a family-owned business which began with owner Peter Ambler making hats for friends in 1993, has grown into a model for small business sustainability in the world of outerwear. By teaming up with CRAFT, the brand is able to merge their small-town energy (anybody who has visited Nelson, BC knows it packs a punch) into CRAFT’s overarching goals for sustainability and environmental awareness.
By giving back to a small business, donating proceedings to help preserve natural areas, and using 100% recycled materials for the jersey’s, Craft is setting the bar for what a holistic approach to production looks like—and one that other brands should look to mimic, for the sake of this beautiful planet we live on. — ML
To get yourself a jersey and donate to a good cause, visit the CRAFT website.