Winter 2019 - Inside Outdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | WINTER 2019 20 U pcycling is a growing trend in the outdoor industry, and for good reason. Every ton of dis- carded textiles prevents several tons of CO2 from entering into the atmosphere. Upcy- cling reduces waste and also creates jobs in the process. It’s a win-win for companies and the environment. Tent manufacturer Tepui also has found a way to encourage consumers to upcycle: by asking them to send in their used gear. In September, the company launched the Tepui UpCycle program, which allows customers to send in worn out tent travel covers in exchange for a new cover with an up- dated logo, plus a return label for their used tents. Customers can choose to receive a backpack or gear bag made from the waterproof PVC fabric in their old travel covers. “We knew we wanted to take on more environmental initiatives, particu- larly in terms of sourcing and recycling,” explained Beth Brennan, Tepui market- ing manager. “When we changed our logo earlier this year, we knew there would be customers that would want to upgrade to the new logo.” Tepui didn’t want customers throw- ing out perfectly good travel covers, or even worn ones. “We know that the material is durable and had potential to be reused,” she continued. “That’s when we decided that the travel covers would make great gear bags and that we should use this as an opportunity to incentivize our custom- ers to recycle the mate- rial when they want a new travel cover.” In addition to pre- venting waste from entering into landfills, the company is also do- ing its part to help the American workforce. The tent covers are cleaned and repur- posed domestically at Rareform’s facility in Agoura Hills, Calif. “We definitely see the benefits of local manufacturing and we try to do so where possible,” Brennan continued. “We find we can implement changes more quickly where applicable and also have more control over our manufactur- ing needs. We also want to support the local economy as much as possible.” The project has been very well re- ceived by both customers and retailers, Brennan explained. “As far as I know, we are the first rooftop tent company to take on this sort of initiative, and our customers seem excited about it,” she said. “And I think anytime we are introducing a new product that solves a problem, our retailers see a benefit. Whether or not they carry a specific product, environ- mental initiatives and local manufactur- ing elevate our brand.” Tepui was acquired by the Thule Group in December. However, Tepui maintains that it will be “business as usual” at the company, and there are no plans to scrap the UpCycle program. In fact, it’s possible that we could see more of this type of offering from Tepui in the future. Based on its success, the company hopes to ex- pand its program. m Trash to Treasure by Gerald Baldino Tepui’s UpCycle program repurposes used tent materials for customers — and it goes down in an American production facility Tepui Upcycle Cover Bags Made in Americas