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Best Sustainable Gifts to Give This Father’s Day

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This article was produced in partnership with Citizen Watch

Let’s face it, there’s a lot riding on this summer. Families and friends are aiming to get back together, excited to make up for lost time, and those road trip plans you’ve been dreaming up are starting to happen. This summer feels different because it is different—and so should your approach to Father’s Day gift giving. Every year is a good year not to give your old man a tie, but if he’s the outdoorsy type, lean into that with gear designed to help him explore better. What do we mean by better? Easier, for sure—and with more style is always a plus—but better for the environment too. We’re all about sustainable gifts this year.

Today, more outdoor companies are manufacturing gear with a mind toward sustainability. From powering manufacturing facilities with solar to committing to going carbon neutral to something as simple as collecting fabric scraps off the floor that would otherwise end up in a landfill, these brands are making greener products that flat out work. When massive brands are more careful about the way they make equipment—and the suppliers they partner with—it represents a seismic shift spurred on by what consumers are asking for. If that dad in your life loves the outdoors, there’s a good chance he’s got a vested interest in preserving it. These gifts tastefully satisfy both requirements.

Best Sustainable Gifts to Give This Father’s Day

Citizen Promaster Aqualand
Citizen Promaster Aqualand Courtesy Image

1. Citizen Promaster Aqualand

Built into the guts of the Promaster is Citizen’s iconic Eco-Drive Technology, which means the watch is powered by any light source—even a desk lamp in a home office—eliminating the need to replace the watch battery. Setting the standard in renewable energy for timepieces, Citizen technology keeps millions of lithium-ion batteries out of landfills each year. But, day to day, what he’ll notice is a rugged stainless steel 50mm case, an easy-to-read dial under sapphire crystal, and 200-meter water resistance that’ll keep up with whatever he’s into. Citizen also plans to achieve CO2 zero-emissions from its manufacturing facilities by the year 2050.

[$795; citizenwatch.com]

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Cotopaxi Hielo 12L Del Día Cooler Bag: : Father's Day Gift Guide: Father's Day Gift Guide
Cotopaxi Hielo 12L Del Día Cooler Bag Courtesy Image

2. Cotopaxi Hielo 12L Del Día Cooler Bag

Not every beverage needs a bear-proof cooler. Cotopaxi reuses nylon and polyester remnants left from the manufacturing of other brands’ gear, then stitches them into unique and colorful soft-sided 12L coolers—big enough to hold about a dozen cans. Inside, the insulating foam is also repurposed. Carry it to a tailgate, the beach, or a campsite.

[$100; cotopaxi.com]

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Smith Lowdown 2 Core Sunglasses
Smith Lowdown 2 Core Sunglasses Courtesy Image

3. Smith Lowdown 2 Core Sunglasses

Some of the best green gear is the stuff that doesn’t look it—like these Lowdown 2 Core shades. The frames, and the bag they come in, are made from five recycled plastic bottles. The lenses use Smith’s castor-oil-based material for sustainability. Even the box they ship in is recycled. These polarized lenses are light, comfortable, and sharp enough to wear to just about any summer outing.

[$129; smithoptics.com]

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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Bikepack Solution Dye Tent: Sustainable Gift Guide
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Bikepack Solution Dye Tent Courtesy Image

4. Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Bikepack Solution Dye Tent

If your dad bikepacks, he’s used to roughing it, so chances are fancy tents aren’t high on his list. But a durable, three-person tent that’s light, easy to set up, and break down probably is. This Big Agnes tent is more durable and resistant to UV degeneration than standard versions. While it might look bland, its solution-dyed fabric requires about 50 percent less water to manufacture, saving about five gallons per tent. They also use 80 percent less energy and fewer chemicals to manufacture. All that and it still compacts down to fit into a saddlebag.

[$500; bigagnes.com]

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Parker Clay Montecito Weekender Bag
Parker Clay Montecito Weekender Bag Courtesy Image

5. Parker Clay Montecito Weekender Bag

This handsome cotton-lined leather bag is roomy enough for a long weekend’s worth of clothing and gear, offering bulk storage alongside organization for a laptop, keys, and phone. Buy the bag and you help Parker Clay employ their Ethiopian leather experts for 25 hours, while providing a living wage, benefits, and literacy training, all while strengthening the supply chain of sustainable leather coming from local farms.

[$558; parkerclay.com]

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Ampere The Hydropower Shower Speaker: Father's Day Gift Guide
Ampere The Hydropower Shower Speaker Courtesy Image

6. Ampere The Hydropower Shower Speaker

Waterproof Bluetooth speakers that enable you to crank a playlist, podcast, or listen to the news during a morning scrub aren’t necessarily new. And with each, you’ve had to worry about keeping the battery charged. That won’t be an issue with the Ampere. It threads onto your existing wall-mounted or hand-held shower and uses the water pressure to power an internal impeller that generates power and charges the battery inside. The speaker turns on automatically when the shower’s running and with a fully charged battery, you can get 20 hours of listening when the shower’s off. The simple four-button interface is easy to use—even with shampoo in your eye.

[$100; ampere.shop]

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Rab Downpour Eco Jacket: Sustainable Gift Guide
Rab Downpour Eco Jacket Courtesy Image

7. Rab Downpour Eco Jacket

Not every shell needs to be worthy of Everest. Sometimes you just need to keep dry while running errands, hitting the trail, or walking the dog. The Rab is fully waterproof, breathable, has vents to dump heat, and stuffs into just about any pack. But it also has serious eco cred: Made from a recycled polyester shell and lining, it can be repurposed once it reaches the end of its life. And don’t think that diminishes its efficacy. Water beads up once it hits the more sustainable, fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment that coats the shell.

[$120; rab.equipment]

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Ecco ExoHike Retro Hiker Boots: Sustainable Gift Guide
Ecco ExoHike Retro Hiker Boots Courtesy Image

8. Ecco ExoHike Retro Hiker Boots

The craftsmen at Ecco are masters when it comes to leather—and still, it took them five years to develop a more sustainable way to tan leather. The DriTan method used on these boots saves about 25 million liters of water per year. That’s enough to keep 9,000 people hydrated. And Ecco is teaching other leather companies and competitors how to do it to save resources. Yak leather covers this Retro boot, which is water-repellent and hides an energy-returning insole to prevent fatigue, while a toothy rubber outsole lends grip on loose or wet terrain.

[ $190; us.ecco.com]

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