5.11’s roots are in Yosemite National Park, where Royal and Liz Robbins began designing purpose-built apparel for the climbing community scaling iconic landmarks like El Capitan and Half Dome. They also had a deep respect for our environment as advocates of climbing techniques that left little or no damage to the rocks they climbed. Today at 5.11, we do our best to carry on their vision through our product designs, manufacturing processes, quality control, and environmental mindfulness.
Below are some of the efforts we are making to ensure that we honor this heritage:
Our products are designed and manufactured under our strict quality guidelines. We go to great lengths to ensure our products meet the demands of our users. From fabric selection to our production process, quality control, and wear testing, each step is focused on producing purpose-built products that will deliver many years of service to our customers. Simply stated, the longer our products last, the fewer resources are used and our carbon footprint in our landfills is reduced.
Our fabric and component suppliers have been inspected and certified to the ISO 140001 standard and/or bluesign® approved. Meeting these standards means that our suppliers have effective environmental and waste management systems in place to reduce their impacts on the environment.
In addition, our leather suppliers are certified under the Leather Working Group (LWG). Leather manufacturing can have a significant adverse impact to the environment due to the chemicals involved in the tanning process. Being LWG certified, however, signifies that our leather suppliers have robust environmental management systems in place and the hides they source can be traced back up the supply chain to the original hide processors.
Furthermore, several of our suppliers are also members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which is a leading alliance in the industry for sustainable production.
5.11 has adopted the American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substance List. Our fabric and component suppliers are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning that materials used in our goods do not contain banned substances or levels of restricted substances that would impact human health and the environment.
We opened a new, state-of-the-art, LEED-certified facility in Manteca, California in 2018. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is a globally recognized symbol of achievement for sustainable building. We are proud of our achievement in being LEED certified and continue to seek processes that reduce consumption and avoid the inefficient use of resources.
Our Custom Shop invested in a sophisticated water reclamation system for our screen-printing operations. Since purchasing the reclamation system, the amount of water required for our screen-printing operations has been reduced and we estimate that we will save approximately 62,000 gallons of water per year.
We use LED bulbs in our U.S. distribution center and have installed motion sensors to illuminate work areas only when necessary. We have also installed industrial ventilation louvers and large fans throughout our warehouse to cool our facility while reducing the use of air conditioning system.
Like many apparel and consumer goods brands, we ship most of our products in cardboard cartons and our products are stored in our distribution center in carboard boxes which are partially derived from recycled materials. All cardboard cartons received in our main distribution center are recycled, however.
Recycled fabrics: Our goods are currently made from virgin materials. However, we continue to explore the possibility and feasibility of sourcing recycled materials for our products. As the development of recycled materials improves, we hope to find a viable alternative to using virgin materials that will meet our standards and the needs of our end users.
Paperless Work Packets: Our Custom Shop is evaluating the potential for switching over the packets used in taking and processing customer orders to a paperless system. Under such a system, our operators will review orders on smart tablets while reducing our paper and toner consumption.