||The Meaning of Lite
Therefore I GoLite. This is our motto. This is what drives us. Less is more. Less is liberation. Less is our passion. But we didn’t invent this philosophy. You did.
You want to get away from all the stuff—the blaring music, the gadgets, the never-ending load of work and the glut of more, more, more. So you go light. You head out on the trail, because you want to experience nature on its own terms.
You value adventure over advertising. Memories over souvenirs. You don’t want to clog the planet with more stuff. You just want to have pure, simple, heart-pounding fun.
Therefore you GoLite.
We led the fast and light revolution and refined how people experience nature by thinking differently. Not just about weight, but about how outdoor gear is designed and built.
Today, we develop simple, beautiful, high performance gear that’s light on the planet.
GoLite is a philosophy of using just what is needed. It’s about being light, but not fragile. Simple, but not dumb. Our designs allow you to forget about your gear and live in the experience.
We believe everyone is responsible for saving the planet and we will be part of the answer. And as far as we’re concerned, the best place to start is by using less.
By their very nature, our products have a smaller impact on the environment because they utilize fewer
materials. But that alone is not enough. We continuously search for opportunities throughout our products’ lifecycles and in our company operations to minimize our environmental footprint and protect our planet, without compromising performance.
Simply put, we design with sustainable principles, while making sure our products perform on the trail.
We know nature has the power to make us all happier.
It’s the joy of a long run before everyone else wakes up, watching the sunrise after a mile of killer
switchbacks and fi nishing with bagels, coffee and good friends. Or a hike after work that culminates at
Whatever it is, it’s that moment of aerobic-induced clarity that makes every day better. This experience is not limited to exotic locations and bagging the highest peaks. Nature is everyday.
It’s all around us, outside our front doors and in our backyards.
GoLite is about discovering nature in unexpected, everyday places
Our design directive is to create beautiful, simple, high-performance clothing and gear that helps you better enjoy your everyday trail experiences and is “light on the planet”.
Each new product we create starts with a set of goals and objectives that achieve technically appropriate performance for a specific end-use and exclude anything non-essential. That means eliminating features that may sound cool on a hangtag, but don’t add to the usefulness or comfort of a product. All they do is create complexity, increase the price and add weight. We don’t do something just because we can. We do things that need to be done.
We’ve developed stringent metrics and testing that help us maximize performance and durability and minimize each product’s weight. Those same metrics improve production efficiency, minimize waste, and lower overall material use to limit resource consumption and reduce costs.
Our design team practices Disciplined Creativity to generate more aesthetically pleasing designs that fit better, perform better and require fewer components and operational steps to assemble.
We establish Design Parameters that achieve better function, comfort and durability.
We employ a Clean Slate approach that continually questions the way things have been done before and seeks new and better ways to accomplish the desired results.
Although we design and develop all of our products in the USA, we do not own our own production facilities. We work with contract manufacturing partners in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand that are committed to producing the highest quality products available.
Sustainable Design Practices
We collaborate with two industry organizations, the North America-based Outdoor Industry Association and the EU-based European Outdoor Group, on their respective Eco and Sustainability Working Groups. The long term goals of those groups are to help all member companies improve the sustainability of their products and reduce the environmental impact of their businesses.
The first two deliverables of those efforts were promptly adopted by GoLite and integrated into our operations. They are the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines published in late 2008, and the Eco-Working Group’s Sustainable Materials Guidelines, published in August of 2009.
We are also working to create a product level sustainability report card that grades each of our products in three key focus areas: What materials we use, how we produce our finished products, and how we take responsibility for them after you purchase them. Stay tuned for more developments later this year.
Random Philosophizing (cause we can...)
We believe that if we can make your time on the trail more enjoyable by giving you a shirt that dries faster, a pack that carries better, or a sleeping bag that keeps you warmer, you may end up spending more time outside. We know that is good for you and good for the environment, since being outside helps us all develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world. As a company and a group of concerned and dedicated individuals, we hope you’ll join us in our work to protect and preserve it.
High-Performance Materials – we work with some of the most advanced textile and materials manufacturers in the world to develop fabrics and components that meet our stringent performance, quality and sustainability standards. Our fabrics consistently test out to be as strong as or stronger than those used by our competitors, but in most cases are significantly lighter. This provides the dual benefit of putting less weight on your back and consuming fewer raw materials.
Each of our materials is developed to deliver maximum durability at minimum weight and:
• Prioritizes end-use specific performance criteria such as:
o Waterproofness or repellency
o Moisture wicking
o Rapid drying
o Wrinkle resistance
o Abrasion resistance
o Tear strength
o Puncture resistance
o Stretch & recovery
o Color fastness
o Pilling resistance
o UPF/UV resistance
o Thermal reflectivity
o Thermal regulation
o Compressibility & recovery
o Softness & drape-ability
o Impact resistance
o Strength-to-Weight ratio
o Easy-care (cold water wash, line dry)
• Is engineered to cuttable fabric roll widths that minimize the waste created during cutting and assembly
• Is sourced as close as possible to the finished goods production facility to minimize transportation
Based on an increased investment in R&D over the past two years, we have developed a wide range of materials that are both High Performance AND Sustainable. Most products utilizing those materials are indicated with a Recycled Content icon
We have been active participants in a collaborative industry group called the Outdoor Industry Association’s Eco-Working Group, and have voted for and adopted as a company sustainable practices standards for packaging and for materials use.
GoLite is committed to building a sustainable business. Sustainability is imbedded in every aspect of how we operate through an integrated set of guidelines, policies, and corporate and individual goals, all bound together by our mission, vision, and values. Our definition of sustainability includes respect for everyone involved in our supply chain from fabric mill employee to you our valued customer or partner; it includes strong financial performance; and minimizing and offsetting the inevitable environmental impacts of producing products.
Our long term objective is to mitigate 100% of our environmental footprint and to be a model corporation in how we treat our people, communities and environment. We are following a comprehensive, metrics-based path to sustainability. We are not interested in launching just a few “green” products or a couple of eco-fiber collections. We are addressing 100% of our operations and 100% of our products. As we do this, we are maintaining or increasing our stringent end-use and testing requirements so that as we move forward, we are actually improving product quality and technical performance, not sacrificing them.
We strive to be a real part of the solution to the challenges facing our planet. We are making radical changes in how we do business since we want to reach a truly sustainable business model as fast as possible while continuing to make premium, high-performance products that serve the needs of outdoor athletes.
After conducting a full assessment of our operations, we know that more than 60% of our overall environmental impact is embedded in the materials in our products. That’s why our core focus is shifting 100% of our materials to what we have identified as Environmentally Preferred Materials (EPMs).
While GoLite products are by nature “greener” (lighter products = less materials = less carbon, less toxics, less waste), more than 20% of the mass of materials in our current products is also made of EPMs, mainly Tier 1 recycled nylon and polyester which have up to an 80% smaller footprint than their virgin equivalents. Our 2010 product line has over 50% EPMs by mass, and our corporate goal is to use 100% EPMs by 2015.
We are dedicated to reducing our climate impact. Although we are growing as a company, our short-term goal is to reduce our actual greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 2008 to 2010 through targeted reduction strategies such as reducing the footprint of the materials in our products, minimizing long-haul flights, and selecting the most efficient shipping methods available. Today, 100% of our energy, business travel, and transportation of finished goods from factory through consumer are offset with NativeEnergy credits that invest in new renewable energy infrastructure in the USA, Canada and China. GoLite has been “carbon neutral” including offsets to these impacts since 2007, and in 2010 we will also offset our share of all of our partner factory and mill operations, resulting in true 100% carbon neutrality for all GoLite operations and products.
Our corporate practices are aligned with our values of Innovate, Sustain, and Inspire. Some examples of this alignment are:
• We are the first to market with a comprehensive shift from virgin nylon and polyester in our Spring 2010 backpack and sleeping bag ranges to Tier 1 recycled nylon and polyester
• Where we cannot currently achieve the desired performance with recycled materials, we invest in developing lighter, stronger materials that consume fewer resources to deliver the same performance (our tent fabrics are dramatically lighter than the competition and are actually stronger than most)
• We have developed and are piloting a revolutionary electronic wholesale selling program that replaces paper sales documents with interactive electronic tools, reducing not only paper usage, but also the time it takes to present and take sales orders and process reorders
• We are committed to establishing a “Zero Waste” headquarters (over 93% of our waste is currently recycled or composted through Eco-Cycle)
• We donate hundreds of volunteer service hours in our community every year (while employees are on the clock)
• We have established long-term support of a range of environmental and educational non-profits
• We have staff benefits that reward community service
• We grant full-time employees with one year of service a paid week per year to volunteer for an environmental non-profit
• We pay our employees to use alternative transportation methods
• We support the Conservation Alliance, the American Hiking Society, and many other conservation and outdoor recreation-oriented non-profits
GoLite is committed to transparency. If you are interested in learning more about GoLite’s efforts to be a sustainable business, register to receive a copy of GoLite’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report available in Dec. 2009.