Jumping On Board The Oberalp Sustainability Journey
Marta Pellegrino, 22.10.2020
We belong to a big family. A special team. The Oberalp Group. And while each mountain brand is a unique and special member of the family, we are all bonded by the passion for the outdoors and by our common values. The best teamwork comes when we work independently towards one vision. LaMunt, like all brands of the group, works clearly in the direction of a more sustainable business and puts a lot of effort into mindful product development.
Sustainability is at the core of our business. It is our driving force and our daily motivation. We believe that acting in a responsible way is not about achieving a fixed goal or reaching a certain level, it’s about our individual choices and actions, day after day. Oberalp wants everyone to contribute individually and to feel responsible for the people and nature affected by their work.
Social and environmental responsibility have always been an important value for the Group, a family-owned company founded back in 1981. While the company has considerably grown in time, it’s still one big family. And no matter how much it will continue to grow, its people will always come first. Over the years, Oberalp has made its commitment to sustainability more concrete and official by creating a designated department and introducing a sustainability strategy and roadmap. The sustainability team works to integrate sustainability into every department and brand of the Oberalp Group and therefore carefully accompanied us since the very beginning of our female project, ensuring LaMunt could pursue its dream and create products for women to live the mountains as a unique place of inspiration while not harming nature and people.
The Oberalp sustainability strategy is divided into two main categories: Empowering People & Engineering Gear. Here are some insights into the two areas of focus, which we have fully endorsed as a pillar of our brand philosophy.
We are a people business, and this means we always put people at the center of what we do. Because we believe that change happens when people come first. We are committed to empowering, motivating and protecting every person that is involved in or affected by our business; our employees, the workers in garment factories and the communities where we work and live.
A main priority at Oberalp is the health and wellbeing of the workers making our products. We have a global supply chain and take on the responsibilities and duties that come along with that. We dedicate a lot of efforts and resources to making the garment industry more fair and equal. We select our production partners carefully and only work with those who are committed to following our high social standards. We create long-lasting relationships with them and focus on raising the bar higher year after year. To ensure we have the most effective impact, we decided to partner with Fair Wear Foundation back in 2013, an expert in working conditions in the textile industry who helps us monitor and work with suppliers to improve standards.
The Oberalp brands produce technical mountain sports apparel and equipment for people that are passionate about the mountains. Their priority is to make them responsibly. And the most responsible product is one that lasts for years and years, the one our customers create lasting memories with while exploring the outdoors. Along with durability come quality and safety. Because a product with lasting quality and safety is a product that will last in time. To ensure the product safety, Oberalp’s manufacturers work in compliance with the “Oberalp Chemical Policy”, a document that introduces a formal process to ban or limit the presence of hazardous chemicals within products and processes. To guarantee the highest level of safety for customers and the environment, more than 4,000 chemical tests were conducted in 2019 – 31% more than in 2018.
At the basis of product development is a careful choice of the right materials to make mountain experiences the most comfortable for mountaineers and less impactful on the environment. We are constantly pushing to find innovative materials with high quality features. This means taking responsibility for the negative consequences our products can have during their entire lifetime, from the manufacturing phases all the way to the end-of-life. Oberalp and its brands have several projects and initiatives running to support the use of natural and regional materials, extending product lifetime, turning production waste into new products, and much more. We are excited to get involved and learn from these best practices to take them on as well and integrate them into LaMunt’s operations.
Oberalp is constantly trying to improve its sustainability work and strongly believes that the best way to do this is to be transparent and talk about its achievements and results. Contribute, Oberalp’s sustainability claim, is exactly about this. Our mission does not just belong to us. It belongs to our consumers, athletes, owners, employees, too. The yearly sustainability report is a way of celebrating how far Oberalp has come and what its main recent achievements are. But it is also a way of involving our community and sharing encouraging messages. Because positive attracts positive.
We are proud to be part of such a passionate and motivated team and we are excited to contribute to Oberalp’s journey and share our common values and beliefs. In our future group sustainability reports with the title “Contribute” we will report about LaMunt’s efforts, challenges, and achievements – as we do for all our brands.