The clothes we wear to enjoy nature can have a huge impact on it, as outdoor apparel brands fill their jackets with plastic to protect wearers against the elements. Not only is the insulation made from fossil fuels, but the thermal binding process needed to produce it is also fuelled by coal or liquid petroleum. Add in the microplastics that shed with each wash and you’ve got an environmental disaster on your hands.
You may choose down as a natural alternative, but welfare concerns and the fact that it can’t get wet rule it out for many, so where do you turn? Apparel company Paka hopes it will be towards Pakafill, a new insulation made from alpaca fibre. It’s early days for this patent-pending insulation, but the fact that it passed a field test at 17,913 feet altitude in the Andes Mountains is certainly a convincing debut. Outdoor brands should form an orderly queue.