Eager to publicise their green credentials, there is a growing trend among outdoor brands for eco-friendly products and innovations. Whether it’s reducing carbon footprint, tackling the problem of single-use plastic, or investing in more sustainable manufacturing processes, brands are pouring time, energy and money into reducing their negative impact on the planet.
There is still a long way to go, but there does seem to be a lot of good stuff going on: trail shoes made from recycled plastic collected from remote beaches, compostable packaging for expedition meals and PFC-free manufacturing of waterproof jackets, to name but a few exciting developments.
Mountain Hardwear is at the forefront of this eco-conscious movement. And its Ghost Shadow hoody, a recycled reinvention of its popular Ghost Whisperer jacket, is no exception. Winner of the Gold award in the clothing category at the UK Outdoor Industry Association Awards, the synthetically-insulated Ghost Shadow jacket is the Californian firm’s most eco-friendly piece of apparel ever.
The stats are impressive: it’s made from 88% recycled materials, using 52% less water and contributing 39% fewer carbon emissions compared to the manufacture of a standard jacket. And, what’s even better is that performance isn’t compromised either. The Ghost Shadow is a technical, lightweight layer with an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. It’s a win-win situation: good for the planet and good for you.
Key features of the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Jacket
Everything is made from recycled materials, including the shell fabric (100% recycled), insulation (a mix of 70% and 100% recycled), zip (100% recycled in tape, 35% in teeth) and trims including snaps, cord and toggle (semi-recycled) – giving an overall 88% recycled build.
Saving plastic from landfill
The synthetic insulation used is called Primaloft Silver Eco, which is manufactured from recycled plastic. This means each jacket helps to save plastic bottles from landfill. The insulation is 70% recycled in the torso, arms and hood and 100% in the sides.
Trail verdict: Mountain Hardwearu2019s Ghost Shadow jacket is a high-performing 3-season
Keeping water clean
The manufacturing process uses 52% less water, while the durable water-repellent (DWR) finish applied is PFC-free, meaning harmful and toxic by-products are not leaked into the planet’s water cycle. The DWR finish also helps the jacket shed water in light rain.
The synthetic insulation keeps you warm even when wet, while a higher grade of insulation (70% recycled) used around the torso and in the arms and hood provides improved warmth where you really need it. But this isn’t a winter-ready, uber-warm jacket – it’s still pretty thin and lightweight. For colder days you’ll need extra layers and a hat to use under the slim hood.
At 320g this jacket comfortably qualifies as ultra-light. This is achieved through the use of a wafer-thin, 10-denier nylon in the shell, which feels comfy and snug, but durability may be compromised in the long-term.
There are two zipped external pockets, two large internal stash pockets, a single interior toggle hem for fine-tuning the fit, a baffle-free waist for harness compatibility, and a nifty feature allowing the jacket to be compressed and zipped inside a pocket for compact storage.