Sustainability at Rustek: What We’re Doing and How

Sustainability at Rustek: What We’re Doing and How

From the get-go, our mission at Rustek has been to craft planet-positive outdoor and lifestyle goods. 

In this blog, we’re sharing some of the efforts we’re taking as a business to contribute to a better, more sustainable future. We know that to reduce the impact of our products, we must continue to improve and do better. 

Here’s how we’re doing that! 

Sustainability, The Natural Way

As more people realize the damage that’s been done to the environment, a global effort to protect and preserve our natural environment grows. But as awareness grows, many businesses are relying on unethical practices to promote products as sustainable—when they aren’t. 

We’ve seen this in many industries and in all types of products and services. Some examples of this are recycled plastics, fabrics made from recycled plastic, and fabric blends (recycled polyester + cotton). 

Truth is, using plastic to make clothing, accessories, and outdoor gear is not sustainable. It never has been and it will never be—even if it’s recycled. 

There is a ton of evidence to support that statement. 

For a sustainable future to be a reality, we need to start loosening the dependence on plastic we’re gripping onto. We need to start doing the sustainable thing—relying on nature’s own materials! 

The earth gives us everything we need to thrive—including natural, renewable materials that outperform synthetic ones. Nature evolved to be outstanding at withstanding its own environment. 

Materials like wool, cotton, hemp, and linen have practical and unique properties that make them better at dealing with moisture and temperature control. Plus, they have antimicrobial properties that synthetics can’t match. 

At Rustek, we’re tapping into the untapped potential of natural performance. 

Four different merino wool beanies (orange, yellow, teal, blue) sitting side by side on a white background

We’re using the most natural, biodegradable & renewable ingredients we can find to create gear that works for you and the planet. But we’re also focusing on quality because the most sustainable items last. And we strive to create goods that do just that—have an outstanding performance, are lasting, and have a minimal impact on the environment. 

By relying on natural resources, we can elevate our gear to do right by you and the environment. 

And this isn’t the only thing we’re doing for the planet…

Planting Trees Matters! 

Every single thing we create or consume has an impact on the environment. And at Rustek we strive to give more than we take. To honor that commitment we teamed up with Eden Reforestation Projects. 

For every item sold, we plant two trees 🌲🌳. 

This is a way for us to offset our environmental impact and make our products effectively carbon-neutral. Plus, we get to support an amazing organization focusing on planting native tree species specific to the regions they work on. 

Eden gives well-paying jobs and economic opportunities around the world by hiring locals to plant trees. It’s a win-win for communities around the globe and the environment. 

Through our partnership with Eden, our focus is to plant mangrove trees in coastal regions of the world and give good-paying, climate-benefitting work to communities in need. Also, mangrove trees are some of the best for carbon sequestration, and habitat & erosion prevention—boosting the environmental impact of each tree planted.

This means each purchase comes with a positive impact on the planet… but that’s not it. 

1% For The Planet 🌎

On top of planting trees, supporting communities in need, and relying on natural materials for our products—we’re certified 1% For The Planet. 

Every year, we donate at least 1% of our revenue to support environmental projects. 

Through our partnership with this amazing organization, we get to take our commitment to helping preserve the environment a step further. 

No Unnecessary Plastic 

A Rustek Wooden Phone Case in its plastic-free packaging
There is a lot of unnecessary waste created from shipping and handling—but not with us. To further our commitment to avoid using plastic everywhere we can, all your gear ships plastic-free. 

We use 100% post-consumer recycled packaging for all of our shipping, and we use compostable cellophane bags for our wood stickers—no unnecessary waste. 

So… Rustek Only Uses Natural Materials? 

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to avoid plastic 100% when creating certain products. So, some of our gear still uses plastic—like our wooden phone cases. 

But that doesn't mean we’re leaving it at that. As we grow, we’re adapting, redesigning, and redoing our products to eliminate plastic and move to the best renewable materials the planet has to offer. Our goal is to out phase plastic completely—but we want to do it right. 

To do things right, we have to research, try, test, fail, and try again. We have to ask ourselves the hard question about what materials are truly sustainable and which ones aren’t—even if they seem like they are. And when we finally launch a new product—you’ll know that a lot of care and thought went into it. 

Rustek is one tiny company, but we're working hard to innovate and reduce plastic use as much as we can. To make a real change, we need to rethink how we’re making sustainable products—and consumers need to continue demanding them, so the supply chain continues to shift. 

Supply chains are set by big corporations, who dictate what is available for large and small brands alike to build their products from. Most of the so-called 'sustainable' options.... aren't so sustainable after all. At Rustek, we believe sustainability and innovation shouldn't be set by corporations at the top of the supply chain. 

Right now, big companies like Patagonia are the only ones with the budget to rethink their supply chain and re-create it. As a small business, we're doing everything we can to lead this change too. 

Are we perfect? Not yet—but we're working on big innovations that have the potential to change how the world thinks about sustainability for good.

So, What’s Next? 

Our efforts to minimize Rustek’s impact on the environment and maximize our sustainable practices continue. We’re constantly finding new ways to do this—and our mission is just getting started. 

We’re already… 

✅ Planting two trees for every item sold

✅ Sourcing the most natural, renewable materials on earth

✅ Building high-quality, lasting products

✅Shipping plastic-free & eliminating plastic whenever possible

And we’re working on… 

➡️ Creating new products that are biodegradable, renewable, compostable, and 100% natural

➡️ Redesigning existing products to make them even better (and more sustainable!)

➡️ Getting climate-neutral certified—stay tuned! 

➡️ Finding the best alternatives to plastic, so we can be 100% plastic free

Plus, We’re Crafting
The Most Sustainable Hats in the World

There isn’t a single plastic-free baseball cap out there. And we’re about to change that. 

When we started building Rustek’s hats, we realized there isn’t a truly sustainable hat out there. Why? Because they all have plastic. We believe that a truly sustainable product is plastic-free—even if the plastic is recycled. 

Yes, there are some companies making hats with a lower environmental impact than an average hat—but we want to create a seriously sustainable hat. 

We refuse to accept that making a hat from renewable materials is impossible. So, we’re creating the world's first plastic-free hats crafted using only natural materials. And we’re proud to be bringing it to you. 

Subscribe to our email list to stay tuned for the launch! 

We’re excited for all the things we’re yet to create and for the positive impact Rustek is already having on the planet. 

Want to support our mission? Shop our planet-positive gear! 

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