Gear Garage: Sustainable Base Layers

Winter is quickly approaching and temperatures are rapidly dropping in expectation of the upcoming season. While many of us are focused on what to wear to stay warm on the water, it is just as important to have a cozy outfit to bundle up in after a chilly session. The following is a collection of five companies that make eco-friendly base layers perfect for throwing on before and after you hit the water.

Toad & Co.:

The folks at Toad & Co. pride themselves in being the original “trail to tavern” brand. Their clothes are both fashionable and functional, perfect for a day at the beach or a night out on the town. All of their products are made from sustainable fibers such as organic cotton, Tencel, and Modal. They steer clear of acrylic, traditional rayon, and viscose due to their dirty production processes and instead opt for recycled polyester and wool. Their efforts in using eco-friendly materials apply not only to their clothes, but to their shipping materials as well: their hang tags are made from recycled card-stock and their bags are made from 50% post-consumer recycled materials.

Cozy up in this warm fleece.


NAU has an extensive men’s and women’s line, with a selection ranging from clothes for the office to cozy sweaters to pull on after a workout. They strive to use their business as a force for good and as a result all of their sustainable, technical fabrics are designed with the wearer in mind. Many of their pieces are made from alpaca wool, organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel, or recycled down. Additionally, 2% of every sale goes to Partners for Change, an organization dedicated to creating positive changes for the environment, global economy, and people in need.


Patagonia is widely known for being one of the most eco-friendly companies in the world. On Black Friday alone, they raised $10 million for grassroots environmental organizations working around the world. Their mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Their wide selection of fine base layers are made to last, but if they don’t meet your expectations they have an exceptional return and repair policy.

Patagonia tights. Perfect to throw on after a chilly session.


At PACT, they recognize the harms of using traditional cotton, so instead they use organic cotton in an effort to minimize their environmental impact as well as improve the conditions for the people manufacturing their clothing. Organic cotton uses 71% less water, 62% less energy, has less of an impact on the air, and doesn’t damage the soil. They have a wide selection of printed leggings for women, long-johns for men, tees, jackets, cozy socks and even undies to satisfy all of your winter needs.


At prAna, they “create versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day.” Their team is comprised of active adventurers, focused on making a functional product, perfect for the everyday athlete. Their wide selection of clothes are made from sustainable materials, including organic cotton, recycled wool, hemp, recycled polyester, and responsible down. Over the years, the company has partnered with numerous international charities and during the holiday season they donate a portion of the proceeds from a select collection to Outdoor Outreach.


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