MAKING BETTER PRODUCTS BETTER
Every single L.L.Bean product is thoughtfully made for the shared joy of the outdoors. And that means being hyper thoughtful about the outdoors itself. We are dedicated to making educated, research-driven decisions on materials, packaging and manufacturing that will minimize the impact our products have on the environment.
Our Vision for Sustainability
L.L.Bean is committed to helping families of all kinds spend more time outside together; our vision for sustainability looks to ensure that generation after generation will have the opportunity to share the joy of an outdoors that is in large part protected and nurtured by our efforts.
Designing Products That Last
For us, sustainability starts at the drawing table. Classic styles that look great from year to year rather than flavor-of-the-moment trends. Functional, versatile outdoor gear and apparel designed with purpose for years of enjoyment. Products that are durable, not disposable, rigorously tested at our in-house laboratory to make sure they’re built for endurance.
Simply put, longer-lasting products don’t need to be replaced as often, resulting in less use of natural resources. After all, the most sustainable product is the one that’s still in use.
Choosing Materials Responsibly
The single biggest factor in a product’s environmental impact is the materials used to make it. Even a small improvement to how our fibers and fabrics are produced and transported can make a big difference. That’s why we’re constantly improving our sourcing practices – and why we continue to raise our already high standards for sustainability.
We love cotton because it’s 100% natural, remarkably breathable and soft against the skin. But not all cotton is created equal. Working with industry partners, we are committed to sourcing cotton grown using less water, with fewer chemicals. For example, many of our products are made using American-grown Supima cotton, with its long-staple fibers that are twice as strong and resilient as regular cotton fibers. And each year, we’re also using organic cotton in more and more of our products. It’s an ongoing process that will have significant impact in the years to come.
Warm, lightweight down is one of nature’s best insulators – one we use in products from outerwear to sleeping bags to comforters. That’s why it’s so important that 100% of the down used in L.L.Bean products meets the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which ensures humane treatment of animals and traceability from farm to factory.
Using recycled fabrics not only saves energy and water compared to starting with raw materials, but also allows us to make use of materials that would otherwise end up in the trash. For example, switching to recycled polyester fleece in our Trail Model Fleece outerwear has helped keep nearly 40 million plastic bottles out of landfills since 2008.
The Right Partners
Together with leading industry organizations, we work to set high standards and help ensure those standards are met by all our vendors and manufacturers. Our key partners include:
bluesign® manages and monitors the use of chemicals, dyes and finishes in the manufacturing process, helping to create fabrics that are safe for the environment, workers and customers. While we’ve always worked hard to keep harmful chemicals out of our products, we’re especially proud to have signed on as a bluesign brand system partner in 2017.
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is an industry advocacy group that produces an annual list of restricted substances designed to help guide decisions about materials, sourcing and manufacturing.
Cotton Leads is a partnership between U.S. and Australian cotton industries that promotes responsible growing practices through research, benchmarking and advocating for safe, environmentally-friendly production.