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Upcycling Uniforms

Retired uniforms will now take on a new life as one-of-a-kind upcycled products to be sold to consumers, in partnership with Helly Hansen. With shared values including a commitment to innovation, safety, enjoyment of the outdoors, serving communities, and an obligation to respect and protect the environment, we’re proud of how our relationship continues to grow.    

In 2017, we announced our bold Commitment to Zero pledge: to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030. As an outdoor company, we take our responsibility to the environment seriously, so when it was time to roll out new uniforms, we saw our partnership renewal with Helly Hansen as an important opportunity to get us close to our net-zero goal.  

We aim to achieve net-zero by 2030 by focusing on three areas: zero impact on forests and habitat, zero net emissions, and zero waste to landfill. 

For years, Helly Hansen, a leader in technical outdoor apparel, has provided professional grade gear to the Vail Resorts team of mountain professionals, gathering insights and feedback to drive the design and evolution of Helly Hansen uniforms to meet our team’s needs across the demanding weather conditions encountered on the mountain.  

“In order to reach zero waste to landfill by 2030, our strategy in order of priority is to reduce waste at the source; reuse and repurpose; and compost and recycle,” said Kate Wilson, vice president of environmental & social responsibility at Vail Resorts. “Across our resorts, we are always looking for innovative ways to work with our strategic partners to make progress. The gear’s lasting integrity makes it perfect to upcycle into something new.” 

To avoid the landfill, the decommissioned uniforms are 100 percent upcycled, and every detail on the uniform that is still in good condition is repurposed. Pockets on upcycled tote bags originated from pockets on uniforms, and all uniform zippers were reused on new products that include tote bags, goggle cases, and backpacks. For material that cannot be repurposed into sold goods, Helly Hansen will explore other alternatives like downcycling products into building materials, as well as textile-to-textile recycling.  

As an additional bonus, all upcycled product proceeds are donated to the Vail Resorts EpicPromise Employee Foundation, which supports emergency relief grants and educational scholarships for our team members.  

Keep an eye out each season for more upcycled gear and learn more about our partnership with Helly Hansen by reading the full press release

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