How can we be ultralight on the planet?

We live at a unique point in time, one where our collective actions will determine the fate of the human race and all we share the planet with.

As a part of the outdoor community, how do we best play our part in resolving the issues? There’s no clear answer, but we can weigh available options and look towards how we might be able to influence and create future options.

How our actions impact the environment have always held a top spot in my mind. Until now, I haven't published anything about our thoughts in this area because I didn't feel that we were taking enough action here at YAMA to justify doing so; I have no interest in greenwashing. I hope that sharing our thoughts here will help accelerate our actions and solicit ideas and partnerships. I welcome any relevant thoughts or professional connections that you may have to share.


Small steps

Waste audits
  • We periodically collect and weigh scraps and trimmings to estimate how much of each fabric we’re disposing overall. It helps to simply be aware (“We threw away how much Dyneema?!?!?!”).
Gear design
  • We build our gear to maximize lifespan for the material used and keep things out of the landfill as long as possible! We see a lot of gear reach the end of life way earlier than it should simply because the manufacturer and/or designer implemented cost saving processes, weight saving methods, or due to poor build quality. That makes us sad.
  • We have switched from nylon to polyester fabrics for most products. Our understanding is that the production of polyester tends to be less impactful than nylon, and the recycling process is less impactful and easier as well. We haven’t found a facility to accept our polyester trimmings for recycling, but continue to seek one. We're also working to source/develop recycled fabrics, but with our limited resources and small size, this is slow going.
  • We REUSE packaging materials whenever feasible. Thanks for your understanding if you receive your order in a box that's had a history!
  • We use recycled content in our packaging materials as much as possible. New boxes are 100% post consumer waste and closed with paper tapes. Most of our padded mailers are 32.6% post consumer waste and designed for multiple uses. You can recycle these mailers and padded Priority Mail envelopes wherever grocery bags are accepted.
  • We offset 100% of our workshop's energy use through renewable energy credits via Arcadia Power. You can do the same! Sign up for the 100% Wind option using our referral link to get $25 off your next power bill.
  • Our domain is registered (and website formerly hosted) by GreenGeeks who offset energy usage 300% with renewables.
  • We wear our puffy's in the shop to keep the heat down! Fun fact: we went for a whole winter without any heat in our workshop in Waynesboro (might also be part of why we're not there anymore).

The future

  • We plan to join 1% for the planet and donate 1% of our revenue to environmental efforts.
  • We are working to source or develop technical fabrics made with recycled content or with a lower environmental footprint.
  • We are seeking facilities who will accept our polyester fabric trimmings for recycling.

The bigger picture

Does what we’re doing really make a difference? At our small size, I’m afraid we don’t really have an impact on the bigger picture. I believe, however, that it’s vital to think and make decisions with the environment in mind.