Arctic Legacy - Proudly Made in Europe

Embracing sustainability on all levels

At Arctic Legacy, our mission is clear. To invest in European Craftsmanship and locally sourced eco-materials and to create exceptional outdoor gear, durable for ages.

This approach by Arctic Legacy is bold and somewhat revolutionary, particularly in an industry where the vast majority of outdoor brands opt for production in the Far East. Our concern with this widespread practice is twofold. Firstly, there’s the environmental impact resulting from long-distance transportation, which typically relies on fossil-fueled cargo ships and planes. This contributes to a substantial carbon footprint. Secondly, there's the challenge of ensuring fair and ethical working conditions in countries where labor laws and practices may not be as stringent as in the EU. These critical concerns form the cornerstone of our decision to invest in European craftsmanship and European materials, ensuring quality, sustainability and ethical practices in every aspect of our business.

In this blog post, we aim to delve into and deconstruct this topic. Let’s go!

1 – Understanding the industry and its history

The outdoor clothing industry, much like the general fashion sector, has seen a significant shift towards Far East production, influenced by similar economic and global trends. Beginning around the mid-1970s, outdoor apparel companies, attracted by lower labor costs and less stringent regulations, started moving their production to Asia. This shift was more than just an economic decision; it was part of a global trend towards outsourcing that was bolstered by trade agreements like NAFTA in the 1990s.

This move to offshore production also changed the pace and nature of outdoor clothing manufacturing. While the outdoor industry may not follow the extremely rapid turnover of fast fashion, it has increasingly adopted a model of frequent new collections, often annually, driven by changing consumer trends and the desire for new technology and styles in outdoor gear. This approach has led to a cycle of constant renewal, with a focus on keeping up with outdoor trends and new technological advancements, sometimes at the expense of garment quality, worker rights, and environmental considerations.

The globalization of the outdoor apparel industry has also meant that companies are not as directly subject to the labor laws and environmental regulations of Western countries. This has often resulted in production practices in developing countries that may not align with the higher standards of worker welfare and environmental care observed in Europe and North America.

In this context, consumers face a choice. The outdoor industry's shift to Far East production has made lower-priced outdoor clothing widely accessible, meeting the consumer's desire for affordability. However, this choice also comes with ethical and environmental considerations.

European production, while synonymous with sustainability and quality, often comes with higher costs due to stringent labor regulations, ethical practices, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, and higher salaries for workers. As a result, products made in Europe often come with notably higher price tags on store shelves.

In acknowledging this complex predicament, Arctic Legacy's commitment to European craftsmanship and local sourcing takes a different path. We understand that our brand is not about affordability but rather a conscious choice made by consumers who deeply care about the planet and value locally produced, European premium quality. Arctic Legacy is a statement, a symbol of deliberate decision-making to invest more in sustainability. Our garments may carry a higher price compared to mass-produced alternatives, but they represent a compelling option for individuals who prioritize exceptional quality, durability, and an unwavering commitment to ethical and sustainable production. When you choose Arctic Legacy, you're not merely acquiring high-quality gear; you're making a profound statement that echoes your unwavering dedication to a better, more sustainable world.

2 – The importance of local sourcing

Local sourcing is a fundamental pillar of Arctic Legacy's ethos, embodying our unwavering commitment to sustainability and ethical production. Our dedication to sourcing materials within Europe stems from a deep understanding of the environmental and social implications of the fashion industry. By partnering with esteemed European fabric producers like Pontetorto in Italy, we not only ensure the reduction of environmental impacts associated with long-distance transportation but also actively contribute to the vitality of local economies. Pontetorto, nestled in the renowned Prato textile district, is a shining example of environmental responsibility within the textile industry. Their operations are marked by the conscientious use of solar energy and a steadfast focus on materials sourced from recycled and eco-friendly origins. One of Pontetorto's remarkable contributions to our collection is the utilization of their exceptional recycled Tecnostretch fabric. This innovative material is prominently featured in signature Arctic Legacy garments, such as the Nanuk Pro Fleece Hoodie, the Nova Dual Layer Beanie, and the Willow Single Layer Beanie. Furthermore, Pontetorto plays a pivotal role in the production of the Kima Explorer Pile Jacket and Vest, crafted from a harmonious blend of recycled wool and recycled polyester.

In addition to Pontetorto, our collaboration extends to Sympatex Technologies GmbH, an innovative powerhouse located in Germany. Sympatex stands as a beacon of sustainability and technological advancement in the realm of functional textiles. Their high-tech fabric boasts remarkable properties, being waterproof, breathable, and windproof, rendering it ideal for crafting top-tier outdoor apparel. What truly sets Sympatex apart is its commitment to environmental responsibility throughout the product's lifecycle, akin to the recyclability of a PET bottle. This echoes our own mission, as Sympatex actively participates in initiatives such as the Greenpeace-led Detox My Fashion and the Textile Partnership, which strive to reduce environmental impacts across the entire supply chain. One of the exceptional fabrics Sympatex produces is the revolutionary recycled fabric STX Toulouse Rise CO, featured in the Arctic Legacy Nuka Elements 3L Jacket and Pants.

Furthermore, our partnership with Joaps in Portugal is pivotal to our quest for sustainable excellence. Joaps specializes in the production of high-quality organic cotton, and we take pride in using their premium fabrics in our garments. A significant portion of these fabrics bears GOTS certification, a testament to their organic and sustainable origins. These exceptional fabrics from Joaps grace our garments, including the Ember Organic Crew Sweater and our Milo Organic Tee, affirming a sustainable foundation within our product range.

Importantly, all our esteemed partners operate under the banner of strict codes of ethics and conduct. This expansive network of trusted European collaborators empowers us to maintain an unbroken thread of sustainable, ethical production that seamlessly aligns with the core values at the heart of Arctic Legacy.

3 – European craftsmanship: A tradition of quality

At Arctic Legacy, we proudly embrace the rich tradition of European craftsmanship. Our commitment to local European production reflects our core values of sustainability, ethics, and quality. Our partner factories, including DeDe Pro in Portugal, Ecovest in Portugal, and Nurme Production in Estonia, play a pivotal role in bringing our vision to life.

The Advantages of Local European Production

Proximity to Market: One of the significant advantages of producing our exceptional outdoor gear locally in Europe is our close proximity to our target markets. Shorter transportation distances not only translate into reduced carbon emissions but also contribute significantly to a more sustainable production process. By embracing European craftsmanship, we actively minimize our environmental footprint and reaffirm our commitment to ecological responsibility.

Stringent Labor Legislation: Europe is renowned for its stringent labor legislation, which serves as a steadfast guardian of fair wages, safe working conditions, and the protection of worker rights. Our steadfast dedication to European production ensures that every individual involved in crafting Arctic Legacy products is treated with the utmost fairness and ethical consideration. When you choose us, you choose products made with integrity.

Uncompromising Quality Assurance: European craftsmanship is synonymous with unwavering quality and meticulous attention to detail. Each product adorned with the Arctic Legacy name is a testament to the passion and dedication of our highly skilled artisans. Our unrelenting commitment to excellence guarantees that you receive outdoor clothing of unparalleled quality and durability, meticulously designed and crafted to withstand the most challenging adventures in nature.

Supporting Local Economies: By investing in European craftsmanship and fostering partnerships with local factories, we actively contribute to the growth and prosperity of local economies. Our enduring collaborations with DeDe Pro, Ecovest, and Nurme Production not only strengthen our dedication to sustainability but also invigorate the livelihoods of the communities in which these factories operate. When you choose Arctic Legacy, you're not just making a purchase; you're making an investment in local European communities and the sustainable future we all aspire to achieve.

Ethical Production at Its Core: Local European production seamlessly aligns with our unwavering commitment to ethical manufacturing practices. Our partner factories adhere to strict codes of ethics and conduct, ensuring that every step of the manufacturing process is characterized by unwavering integrity, fairness, and environmental responsibility. Our products represent not only a commitment to quality but also a dedication to ethical and sustainable production.

4 – Sustainability in material selection:

Sustainable fabrics are the cornerstone of environmentally conscious outdoor fashion, and Arctic Legacy takes pride in exclusively utilizing these materials in our product lineup. These fabrics are produced in a way that minimizes their environmental impact, contributing to a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.

One of the primary sources of sustainable fabrics is recycled materials, including those derived from recycled PET bottles. These fabrics are crafted by processing used materials and transforming them into new textiles.

The advantages of recycled fabrics are multi-fold:

Reduced Environmental Impact: Utilizing recycled materials significantly reduces the fashion industry's reliance on virgin resources. These resources demand substantial amounts of water and energy for their production. By opting for recycled fabrics, we actively reduce the environmental footprint associated with clothing manufacturing.

Waste Reduction: Recycling textiles prevents discarded clothing and fabrics from ending up in landfills. The fashion industry generates vast amounts of textile waste each year, and choosing recycled materials helps divert this waste away from disposal sites.

Energy Savings: The production of recycled fabrics is inherently more energy-efficient compared to creating textiles from scratch. This results in lower energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Water Conservation: Organic cotton, another sustainable alternative, is cultivated without the use of synthetic pesticides and typically requires less water than conventional cotton farming. This aligns with our commitment to responsible water usage.

Reduced Carbon Footprint: Sustainable fabrics, especially those crafted from recycled materials, often have a lower carbon footprint. Their production process requires fewer resources, leading to a reduced overall environmental impact.

At Arctic Legacy, we wholeheartedly embrace these benefits by using only recycled materials in all our fleece garments and technical shell garments etc. These recycled materials, often originating from PET bottles, undergo a meticulous transformation process to become high-quality fabrics. This ensures that our products not only meet the highest eco-friendly standards but also offer durability and performance.

Expanding on the use of organic cotton in our sweaters and t-shirts, we reinforce our commitment to sustainability by choosing a fabric that offers numerous environmental benefits. Organic cotton farming is characterized by practices that reduce the environmental burden and promote responsible agriculture.

One of the primary advantages of organic cotton is its significant reduction in water usage compared to conventional cotton farming. Conventional cotton is notorious for its high water consumption, often requiring vast amounts of irrigation. In contrast, organic cotton relies on rain-fed farming techniques and water-efficient practices, contributing to the conservation of this precious resource. This shift to more sustainable water management aligns with our ethos of minimizing the environmental impact of our clothing.

Furthermore, organic cotton cultivation eschews the use of synthetic pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Instead, it relies on natural and eco-friendly methods to control pests and promote soil health. This approach safeguards not only the environment but also the well-being of farmers who work with the cotton. It reduces their exposure to harmful chemicals, ensuring safer and healthier working conditions.

By choosing organic cotton for our sweaters and t-shirts, we embrace a fabric that harmonizes with nature. It reflects our unwavering commitment to fostering a more sustainable fashion industry where environmental consciousness and ethical practices are at the forefront. When you choose Arctic Legacy, you're not merely acquiring outdoor clothing; you're investing in a future where fashion coexists harmoniously with the environment, where every garment represents a step towards a greener and more responsible world.

5 – Ethical Labor practices in the EU

Ethical labor practices within the European Union (EU) are pivotal in the textile industry, forming the foundation of Arctic Legacy's commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. The EU's textile industry benefits from robust labor legislation and a culture of workers' rights protection, creating a favorable environment for ethical practices that uphold the well-being of employees and contribute to the sustainability of our textile products.

One key advantage of manufacturing textile products in the EU lies in the stringent labor legislation that governs the rights and working conditions of textile workers. EU labor laws are designed to ensure fair wages, safe working environments, and the protection of worker rights, including those in the textile sector. These comprehensive laws are consistently enforced, providing a high degree of security and confidence to textile workers. Consequently, employees in the EU textile industry benefit from equitable treatment, job security, and safeguarding against exploitative labor practices.

Wages in the EU textile industry generally adhere to higher standards compared to alternative markets in other parts of the world. Fair wages are essential for securing a decent standard of living for textile workers and their families. The EU's commitment to equitable pay contributes to social stability and overall well-being, reducing the risk of labor exploitation and poverty among textile workers.

Additionally, the EU places significant emphasis on the protection of workers' rights in the textile industry. This protection extends to collective bargaining, the provision of safe working conditions, and the right to unionize. Such policies foster a positive labor environment in the textile industry, enabling textile workers to voice their concerns, negotiate fair terms, and work in conditions that prioritize their health and safety.

From a sustainability perspective, ethical labor practices in the EU textile industry underpin the long-term viability of our textile products. Workers who are treated fairly, provided safe working conditions, and afforded their rights are more likely to be motivated, productive, and engaged. This positively impacts the quality and consistency of the textile products we manufacture, reducing the likelihood of production issues and waste.

In conclusion, the EU's commitment to ethical labor practices, stringent labor legislation, fair wages, and workers' rights protection are crucial elements in ensuring the sustainability, quality, and ethical integrity of our textile products within the textile industry. When you choose Arctic Legacy, you're not just acquiring textile products; you're investing in textiles that reflect our unwavering commitment to a better, more equitable world.

6 – Reducing Carbon Footprint through local production

In an era of globalization, the fashion industry has witnessed a dramatic increase in the transportation of clothing and materials across the globe. This extensive transportation network, while essential for the global fashion supply chain, comes at a significant environmental cost. From the cotton fields to clothing factories and high-street stores, garments embark on a journey that spans continents, resulting in substantial carbon emissions.

The typical lifecycle of a garment often begins in distant cotton fields, travels to clothing factories in Asia, and finally reaches the racks of retail stores in Europe and North America. Each stage of this supply chain necessitates transportation, contributing to the industry's considerable carbon footprint.

Manufacturers, driven by cost considerations, have historically relocated their factories to developing countries with lower production and labor costs. This practice, while economically advantageous, compounds the need for long-distance transportation of raw materials and finished garments. Asia, particularly China, has been a primary hub for clothing production, supplying a significant portion of the world's apparel. However, with rising costs in China, manufacturers have increasingly shifted production to countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, or Pakistan, perpetuating the cycle of global transportation.

Raw materials, such as cotton, are sourced from various regions worldwide, further increasing the demand for transportation. Cotton production, which plays a central role in the textile industry, involves cultivation in countries like India, China, the United States, and Brazil. Meanwhile, textile mills may be located in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Turkey, amplifying the need for transporting materials across borders.

The consequence of this complex and lengthy supply chain is the extensive carbon emissions associated with shipping and air transportation. Ships, which handle approximately 90% of global trade, transport nearly 10 billion metric tons of goods annually and accounts for a significant share of the world's total CO2 emissions.

The environmental repercussions extend beyond emissions to include the waste generated by packaging materials. Clothing items are often sealed in plastic packaging and cardboard boxes, many of which end up discarded after purchase. Additionally, price tags, labels, and packaging contribute to the overall waste generated by the fashion industry.

Forward-thinking fashion brands such as Arctic Legacy and others, recognize the urgent need to address the environmental impact of their supply chains. They are increasingly turning to sustainable practices, including local production, to reduce their carbon footprint. By producing clothing closer to their target markets, these brands minimize the distance goods need to travel, significantly lowering carbon emissions associated with transportation.

Local production within Europe offers a promising solution to reducing the fashion industry's carbon footprint. The proximity of manufacturing to the European market results in shorter transportation distances, translating into decreased carbon emissions. This approach actively minimizes the environmental impact of the fashion supply chain, aligning with sustainability goals and reducing reliance on long-distance transportation.

In conclusion, the fashion industry is at a pivotal moment where sustainability is paramount. Reducing the carbon footprint through local production within Europe (or wherever your home market resides) represents a compelling step toward a more environmentally conscious and ethical future.

7 – Garment Case Study – The Nuka Elements 3L Shell

Introducing the Nuka Elements 3L Shell, a pioneering sustainable shell system that sets new standards for eco-conscious outerwear. Precision-crafted in Northern Europe, specifically Estonia, this exceptional garment reflects Arctic Legacy's steadfast dedication to sustainability, ensuring that every stage, from material selection to production, minimizes its environmental footprint.

The Remarkable Fabric: STX Toulouse Rise C0

At the heart of the Nuka Elements 3L Shell lies the extraordinary 3-layer "STX Toulouse Rise C0" fabric from Sympatex, a pinnacle of functionality and comfort. What sets it apart is its eco-conscious profile, exemplified by its exceptional eco-balance values. The third layer, a soft jersey material, ensures a delightful level of comfort.

This fabric stands out for its environmental sustainability. The production of the Sympatex copolymer used in this fabric emits a mere fraction of the CO2 compared to traditional PTFE polymers. In fact, it's a remarkable 50 times less, and to offset any remaining emissions, internationally certified climate protection projects have been supported since 2017.

Moreover, the upper fabric and backing are crafted from 100% recycled PES (polyester). This choice conserves approximately 90% of water, nearly two-thirds of energy, and about one-third of CO2 emissions compared to the production of virgin oil fibers. The fabric's 100% recyclable Sympatex membrane ensures that this European marvel can seamlessly re-enter the textile cycle, making it a sustainable choice in every sense.

Comfort and Performance: Designed for you

Designed with your comfort in mind, the Nuka Elements 3L Shell offers mechanical stretch for superior comfort and flexibility while remaining almost silent due to its soft fabric. Despite being windproof and waterproof with a water column of +20,000mm, the garment maintains exceptional breathability with a rating of +25,000 g/m²/24h.

The Nuka Elements 3L Shell incorporates YKK® AquaGuard® Zippers, crafted in Europe, known for their durability and waterproof protection. Fully taped seams, sealed with SYMPATEX® tape, ensure the highest level of waterproofness. Additionally, the jacket features a discreet yet essential safety enhancement—a RECCO® reflector bonded inside the brim, providing added security in the great outdoors.

A Rare Combination:

The Nuka Elements 3L Shell offers a rare combination of sustainability, innovation, and European origin. It's not often that you find a shell garment that is 100% sourced and crafted in Europe, making it a unique choice for those who prioritize sustainable, locally-made outdoor gear.


The garment proudly bears the Bluesign® APPROVED fabric and OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 fabric certifications, attesting to its sustainable and ethical production. In essence, the Nuka Elements 3L Shell is more than just a shell; it's a commitment to a sustainable future. By choosing this garment, you're making a statement that outdoor gear can harmonize with the environment without compromising on performance. Elevate your outdoor adventures while safeguarding the planet with the Nuka Elements 3L Shell, where style, sustainability, and innovation unite in a single garment.

8 – Wrap up & conclusion

Arctic Legacy's commitment to sustainability and ethical practices in the outdoor fashion industry is evident in every aspect of our journey. From European craftsmanship to local sourcing, ethical labor practices, and reducing our carbon footprint through local production, we've redefined outdoor fashion.

Our Nuka Elements 3L Shell is a prime example of our dedication to sustainability. Crafted sustainably in Northern Europe, it embodies our values. Join us in making conscious choices for a greener, ethical, and sustainable fashion industry.

Arctic Legacy is your partner in creating a brighter, more sustainable future through every garment we produce. Choose Arctic Legacy and make every choice count.

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