Sustainability

Shop with purpose

At the core of the BMC’s shop is an ethos and a commitment that reflects many of the things the organisation cares most deeply about: sustainability, responsibility, and setting a good example. 

We’ve made great strides in recent times to reduce our footprint in a huge number of ways, from our packaging to the record of our suppliers. We are by no means perfect, but we think that our methods and the unique range of stocked items provide an example of a retail operation that can feel good, do good and still provide the highest quality product and service.

What we do, how we do it, and why we do it are important to us

Illustration by Tessa Lyons

Shop Organic

Buying one guarantees you are getting an item that is both organic and sustainably sourced throughout the production process. We recognise that garment manufacturing can be one of the most environmentally damaging industries.  To minimise our impact, we choose suppliers that have reduced their carbon footprint by using low-impact organic agricultural, efficient manufacturing. Organic cotton is better for the producers and ecosystems in which it is produced. Instead of more toxic pesticides and fertilisers, the natural ingredients used keep the soil fertile which encourages biodiversity and, as a bonus, leads to the extra-soft feel of our branded clothing. The suppliers we use grow their organic cotton in India.  The monsoons fill the reservoirs that supply most of the water needed. The plants are powered solely by renewable wind power energy. 

The BMC’s range of signature T-shirts have become a low-key staple of the British climbing scene. From designs commemorating Alex Honnold’s free-wheeling van life and mind-boggling solo ascents to the iconic ‘Camdala’ pattern, our tops have come to occupy their own little space within a burgeoning climbing clothing market. But our tees are, we believe, a little different. 

When selecting new suppliers we always look for a shared approach to environmental standards.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As the BMC gears up its sustainability initiatives, we have moved towards packaging that reflected our priorities. As well as upgrading the wrapper for our Summit magazine to a biodegradable sleeve that can go in your compost, in 2018 we switched all the packaging for every shop item to recyclable alternatives. 

Now every T-shirt, mug or guidebook we send out comes to you in a cardboard or other recyclable wrapper, so you can make sure it contributes to a sustainable future. 

At the same time the BMC office has undergone a massive shift towards responsible reduction in waste, changing everything from lightbulbs to pens to reusable or recyclable versions. The most noticeable change is that the change isn’t noticeable at all…

How to care for your BMC clothing

70% of the carbon emissions from clothing comes from washing and drying it over its lifetime, so we recommend washing on cool and hanging to dry.

Our Motivation

The BMC acknowledges clearly and without ambiguity that the planet faces a global ecological and environmental crisis. In a society driven by the twin forces of growth and consumption, it can be difficult to see solutions to this crisis. 

Yet despite the diversity and variety of our members, we believe one of the common tenets shared by a majority of them is a commitment to an environmentally responsible way of living. After all, which outdoor user wants to see the continued and proven damage to natural places, like the Alps, caused by global warming?

Therefore we see it as a simple enough bar to rise to - the challenge to reduce our impact as much as we possibly can. In doing so, we hope to directly and indirectly encourage greater action on the environmental crisis; action from both from the individuals we represent but crucially also from the bodies we represent them to, like business and government.

With a long road in front of us, all we can do is continue to keep making steps in the right direction. If you have any thoughts on our environmental policies or the way the shop operates, we would like to hear them: send us an email to shop@thebmc.co.uk