We had a really great kickoff to our #KnowYourBrand Campaign, and we are stoked to bring you the second episode.  We also wanted to say “Thank You” to everyone who has been as excited as we are about this campaign!  What we’ve learned very quickly in this campaign is that each and every company has its very own definition of conservation and sustainability.  It has been quite interesting to compare and contrast each different brand’s approach to conservation and sustainability.  Our second episode features a company with roots in the high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal and a very unique approach to conservation; Sherpa Adventure Gear.

In our early discussions with Sherpa Adventure Gear, we were pleasantly surprised to find that most of their manufacturing takes place in Nepal.  So whereas we didn’t get to tour the factory itself, we were able to meet with Kate Hourihan of Sherpa Adventure Gear, and she gave us the inside scoop on the brand’s history, development, and conservation efforts.

Sherpa Adventure Gear Know Your Brand

Sherpa Adventure Gear’s roots are high in the Himalayas and in the villages of Nepal.

Ancient Sherpas Inspire a Modern Brand

Sherpa Adventure Gear was founded by Tashi Sherpa, a Nepali entrepreneur looking to bring jobs back to his home, and at the core of the conservation efforts of the company has always remained the conservation of culture and community.  The brand has been built upon the ancient traditions and cultures of the Sherpa community.  The word Sherpa is literally translated to “Eastern People,” and it refers to an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal.  Sherpas are the mountaineers that lead treks up Mt. Everest and other of the highest peaks in the world.  They are a strong, courageous group, with a strong sense of community and giving.  All of these attributes are the very core building blocks of Sherpa Adventure Gear.

Sherpas on Mt. Everest

Sherpas are the highly skilled mountaineers who lead treks up Mt. Everest.

Tashi Sherpa founded the brand in 2003, and has since been able to provide over 1,500 jobs to the people of Nepal.  These jobs are very important to the Sherpa communities.  After spending a lifetime as a mountaineering guide on Everest, many of the Sherpas are simply unable to continue the strenuous work that is involved.  Sherpa Adventure Gear provides employment for these men who otherwise may not be able to find suitable work.  In addition, Sherpa Adventure Gear employs many of the wives of the villages in order to produce their hand-knit hats and sweaters.  These women are able to work in their homes or in “pods” while being able to care for their children at the same time.  This is a great opportunity for them to bring in extra income while still being able to take care of their homes and children.  The popularity of the hand-knit garments has led to an increase of the number of women able to be employed in this manner, and it continues to grow.  Sustaining life, culture, and community is the first step in effective conservation.

Bringing jobs to Nepal was the top goal for Tashi Sherpa when he founded this brand.

Bringing jobs to Nepal was the top goal for Tashi Sherpa when he founded this brand.

Nepali Design and Sustainable Fabrics

Bringing ancient culture and tradition together with modern design and technology, Sherpa Adventure Gear creates high quality garments that have stood the test of the Himalayas.  Using local craftsmen to design the pieces, the brand shows its roots in so many simple touches on each garment; from the prayer flag zipper pulls to the garment monikers relating to Sherpa culture.

Sherpa Adventure Gear hand knit hats

Scrap yarn hats are made with the left over pieces from other designs. They have become the most popular hand-knit hat!

In addition to sustainability of the culture and providing jobs to the communities, Sherpa Adventure Gear is also working to reduce waste and promote sustainable materials.  Many of the garments are Bluesign certified, which is a designation for sustainable textile production.  This means that they are eliminating harmful substances and promoting safe, environmentally friendly materials and processes.  All of their garments are made with azo-free dyes, and their scarves are printed with vegetable ink.  Scrap pieces from making garments are used to make different types of garments, reducing the amount of waste they have from materials.  In addition, the scrap pieces of yarn from solid color hats and sweaters are combined to make scrap yarn hats.  The scrap yarn design has become one of their top sellers, too!

Know Your Brand Sherpa Adventure Gear

Vegetable inks are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Educating Children of Nepal

Education is very important to society, and it directly relates to conservation and sustainability as well.  A portion of every sale from Sherpa Adventure Gear goes into their Paldorje Education Fund.  This fund provides education for the children of Nepal who would otherwise not be able to afford to go to school.  We may sometimes forget that school is not a privilege afforded to everyone in the world; only the upper class are able to send their children to school in many parts of the world.  Sherpa Adventure Gear has put 26 children into school thus far, some still in school and some having made it through college.  The fund provides room and board, tutoring, books, computers, tuition, and anything else the student will need to go from elementary all the way through college.  This is making a difference.  Education is conservation.  {If you are interested in making a donation to the Paldorje Education Fund, click HERE.}

Sherpa Adventure Gear Education Fund

Through their education fund, Sherpa Adventure Gear has sent 26 students through school, ensuring a better future for Nepal and its citizens.

Growing and Developing while Remaining True to Their Roots

As Sherpa Adventure Gear continues to grow, they also continue to learn and improve.  They have recently hired a sustainability manager who is based in Nepal and oversees the production facilities.  She then makes changes and recommendations to increase sustainability and reduce waste in their production.  This is a relatively new position in the company, so we know that the processes will only improve more from here.

Sherpa Adventure Gear Know Your Brand

Sherpa Adventure Gear has recently hired a sustainability manager in Nepal.

Sherpa Adventure Gear was born in the Himalayas and in the remote villages of Nepal.  A brand that has that kind of history and roots is inherently dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of its home.  Sherpa Adventure Gear continues to improve their processes while also encouraging supplies, distributors, and retailers to reduce their impact on the earth.  They understand how fragile our world is, and they are dedicated to ensuring its future.  We are very thankful that Sherpa Adventure Gear is a part of our #KnowYourBrand Campaign, and we are proud to say that they are doing great things in the world.

Sherpa Adventure Gear Endless Knot

The endless knot is a symbol of the Sherpa Adventure Gear spirit.

The idea of conservation and sustainability is different to each person and to each brand, and we are so happy to showcase the many different faces of conservation during this campaign.  If you have any questions or comments about the work of Sherpa Adventure Gear, let us know in the comments below.  If you want to check them out for yourself, visit sherpaadventuregear.com and especially their scrap yarn designs!  We are happy that you now #KnowYourBrand!

Subscribe below to stay up to date on all of our adventures and more on the #KnowYourBrand Campaign!  Until next time, #LiveVicariously!

NOTE: We were NOT paid or compensated in any form for this review of Sherpa Adventure Gear.  All opinions stated are our own and all facts stated are to the best of our knowledge.  We do not make any guarantees on behalf of Sherpa Adventure Gear.

 

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Sherpa adventure gear is more than just outerwear.  They actually help the sherpa culture by employing those involved in the culture but are not mountain guides at a fair wage and good working conditions.  outdoor gear | Jackets | Ski Jackets | Snowboard Jackets | Ski outfits | snowboard outfits