A stroll through the aisles of the SIA Snow Show is an overwhelming feast for any gear-head’s senses. Bright colors, flashy technology and racks upon racks of gear, accessories, gadgets and apparel are reminders that ski consumerism is alive and well. Although that’s good news for our industry’s bottom line, it doesn’t come without a price. SIA’s RECLAIM Project aims to raise awareness about the side effects and byproducts of apparel and gear manufacturing.
Each year, 25 million tons of textile scraps are discarded to landfills in the U.S. alone, according to RECLAIM Project sponsor and outerwear company 686. The RECLAIM project champions gear brands, manufacturers and designers whose efforts reduce waste throughout the manufacturing and distribution process.
The centerpiece of the RECLAIM Project at SIA is a design contest in which three independent designers are given three days to design and construct a functional and fashionable snow jackets using only reclaimed “scrap” materials.
“The designers are selected through an online contest for which they submit their dream outerwear design and inspiration,” says 686’s Vice President of Marketing Kristin Cusic. Applicants are put through a rigorous interview process, and the top three are selected to participate in the contest at SIA.