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Friday, September 10, 2010
Updated: September 15, 3:04 PM ET
Lib Tech Recycled Outerwear ($160-$220)


Three of the four color ways in the 10k Re-Cycler line.

Green -- it's not just a color or a slick marketing tagline added to a product description as a means of justifying a higher price tag. For some companies, it's an underlying philosophy that informs every decision they make. Lib Tech's environmental ethics run deep -- from a snowboard factory that's run on biofuel to snowboards made out of renewable forest products and soy-based elastomers -- and that same integrity has extended to their new ecoMotional outerwear line.

And here's the fourth.

WHAT IT IS:
Outerwear with a conscience, at a price you can afford. All jackets and pants in Lib's ecoMotional outerwear line are made out of 100 percent recycled (from plastic bottles) polyester fabric and zippers. Why bottles, and not bamboo or hemp? "Hemp technology isn't quite there yet, enough to make it as waterproof as we need it to be," says designer Natalie Murphy. "Bamboo takes a lot of chemicals to break down, which isn't the greatest. The fabrics we found that worked the best ... ended up being recycled bottles."

The ecoMotional line consists of the 20k reVitalizer jacket, the 10k Re-Cycler series (pictured here) and the 5k Born Again series. (20k being the most waterproof, for every-day riders, to 5k for snowboarders who ride occasionally and don't need the extra protection.) All jackets and pants are strategically seamsealed, with zip-to-mesh venting, and are made to fit together with a snap-to-pant system so you don't get pow in your undies on storm days. All jackets have a fixed hood, and all pants have an adjustable waist.

WHY IT RULES:
Think about all the water bottles you go through on a weekly/monthly basis. Now times that number by, say, a billion people. Far better to wear these bottles as jackets than for them to end up in the ocean, leaching toxic chemicals into the water, contaminating the food swimming around at the bottom of the chain there, eh? The ecoMotional line goes one step further by using solvent-free laminates. What, exactly, does this mean? "Outerwear is hard to make completely eco friendly because there are so many chemicals and processes involved in making something waterproof," says Murphy. "Wherever there is a possibility to cut down on the chemical process, we chose that route." To which we ask the question: Why would anyone choose to do it any other way?

WHERE TO FIND IT:
Use Lib Tech's dealer locater to find a store near you. If none are available, check Lib's listing of online retailers. If you live in Seattle (Lib's back yard), check out The Snowboard Connection.