- PFC-free means, that the water repellant treatment is done without the use of per-flourcarbonated chemicals.
Thunder is a trekking pack with a superb weight to volume/feature ratio. The suspension system is quickly length adjustable and provides excellent fit, torso mobility and weight transfer. Three access options to the main compartment (top, front and side loading) allow simple packing and unpacking. A large front and two side stretch pockets offer additional storage space. A floating lid with inner and outer pockets and adjustable side compression straps increase carrying capacity for extended trips and expeditions.
The multi-functional features of this backpack are a mayor plus for a more sustainable way of using a durable product. It literally means, that you have to buy less!
We also like the idea that Exped went through the trouble to find the solution to for a durable aluminium that they felt comfortable about, instead of just taking the easy option and accepting the classical anodising, because the process in the facility, where the poles are produced does not meet Exped’s ecological requirements.
10 / 15
- Certified by:
- STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®
GRV Transparency ToolThunder
- Exped’s mindset has been based on sustainability since its founding. The vision is to leave as small a footprint as possible with entrepreneurial action.
- Exped’s Code of Conduct is based on STeP by OEKO-TEX®
- All product transport in Exped's home market Europe, are offset by DHL GoGreen CO2
- Extensive testing of products in order to guarantee that they last a long time and correspond to the desired end use.
- Exped has been working with a circular system in regards to down since its founding.
- Products are designed to be useful and long lasting.
- By producing equipment in the premium sector, Exped supports good jobs.
- Innovation has always accompanied Exped and numerous, groundbreaking product developments have also become a template for products from other companies.
- Exped participates in the following industry initiatives: EOCA, RDS, R-Value standard for sleeping pads.
- Exped nominates all main materials, 100% traceability is in place.
- About 90% of materials of this backpack are made of STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified components.
- Multifunctional uses play a decisive role in the design process, as well as excellent reparability.
- The backpack is PFC free.
- The backpack is easy to repair and everything can be replaced individually.
- Brand Management
- Brand Commitment
Brand Management for us at GRV means to look at all the issues, which are directly controlled and integrated by the Brand’s Management towards business and supply chain strategy as a whole. GRV takes a holistic approach to Brand Management. We take into consideration all pertinent topics and issues, which are in direct control of the brand. GRV analyzes how the brand utilize their management in business and in their supply chain.
When determining ‘Brand Commitment’, GRV looks at the pro-active efforts of a brand toward sustainability. For example, the percentage of sustainable product lines within the entire portfolio, or the life cycle assessments and public reporting. We look for key indicators of the engagement of a brand towards responsibility.
On this level GRV is looking at product related information, like material content, supply chain and certification. Warranty, reparability and “end of use” advice are also important aspects. At the moment, GRV is looking at selected highlight products from different product lines, which show the special sustainable efforts of the brand.
Integration of Sustainability
A vision of responsible action and fair cooperation has been an integral part of Exped’s set of values since its establishment: to leave as small an ecological footprint as possible. This desire is realized throughout daily work and is expressed through Exped’s mission statements. available on their website.
A large emphasis is put on balancing work and family. For example, ten out of twenty employees work part time. Exped’s ethic toward sustainability can be seen in every employee, all twenty commute via public transport or by bicycle to the headquarters, which is supplied by green electricity. Transparency for customers and dealers is becoming increasingly important, therefor Exped has two dedicated employees who are now working on the transparent presentation of all relevant sustainability aspects.less
Certifications, Standards and Guidelines
Exped’s Code of Conduct is based on STeP by OEKO-TEX®.
An important aspect of their Code of Conduct is to ensure that no supplier may subcontract orders. The quality management of all suppliers is certified according to the ISO 9000 series.
Five out of seven manufacturers also have ISO 14001 environmental management certifications. Exped is working to ensure that by 2022 all materials are STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® (Class 1 for baby clothing) or bluesign® certified.
Currently over 90% of main material suppliers already have a STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification. All down products are certified according to the RDS (Responsible Down Standard).less
In addition to taking responsibility for the social welfare of its own employees in Europe and North America, Exped works to ensure the social wellbeing of workers in the Asian manufacturing plants of its equipment producing external partners. By producing premium equipment, Exped supports jobs, which ensure a good quality of life. In this product sector, price and time pressure are not as present as in the clothing industry and the wage level is relatively higher.
The social aspects of Exped’s supply chain are not explicitly certified but are of great importance to the brand. Through personal relationships and regular visits from Exped’s product managers, the company has developed good insight into the welfare of contributing workers. The manufacturing plants are located in China, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan, e.g. Taiwan is not considered a high-risk country by the Fair Wear Foundation. Although generalized statements about working conditions in some countries are problematic, Exped can trust that the agreed upon social standards will be respected in the workplace. Additionally, Taiwan has the five-day work week, which is remarkable for an Asian country. Employees work about 8 hours a day, although, the exact working hours vary from factory to factory. While Exped does not conduct its own audits, manufacturers for larger brands are regularly audited and Exped may in some cases review these documents for the manufacturers it uses as well.less
With every product, Exped strives to find a good balance between durability, ecological footprint and product performance. A holistic view of resource management leads to a design that utilizes the materials to their optimum potential. Repairability takes a very high priority during the design process and is considered in each product. Exped’s products are so sophisticated in their design that they take at least one – but more often close to three – years before being adapted. The products are usually kept for a long time as carry overs in their portfolio, and are rarely taken out, resulting in a constantly growing and diversifying portfolio.
Through an intensive test phase and long development time, in cooperation with mountain guides and various outdoor specialists, product defects are reliably prevented. Exped places great importance on maximizing the yield of fabrics used in the design. Cutting patterns are optimized in such a way that as little waste as possible is created. Materials are also used across different categories of products. If residual pieces of material remain, they will be processed into accessories.less
Sourcing Strategy and Environmental Management
Exped prioritizes and maintains long-term partnerships and stays with its manufacturing partners through changes and restructuring. Exped nominates all main materials resulting in 100% traceability.
Exped is working to have their products certified as STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® (Class 1 Baby-clothing), which means that all ingredients used in both fabrics and trims must also be STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified. Once this process is completed, it can be communicated to the end-consumer of the product. As a result, the Restricted Substance List (RSL) of STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is the minimum specification for chemical management at Exped. 85% of Exped’s portfolio is PFC free. For more than 60% of products, Exped uses bluesign® certified fabrics.
The maxiumum of Exped’s manufacturing operations are in Taiwan, some products are also made in China and a very small % in Vietnam.
The main materials for the products (> 90%) come from Taiwan and South Korea and are nominated by Exped. Over 95% of these fabrics are STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® or bluesign® certified. The production of Evazote mats takes place in a workshop employing special needs workers in Germany.less
Exped has a “Preferred Material List” and a Restricted Substance List (RSL) based on the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. In addition, Exped is beginning to work with the Higg Index, which helps them make appropriate choices in regard to maintaining a low environmental footprint when choosing materials. For a continuous process of improvement, the use of the Higg Index is of great importance.less
In order to guarantee that the products last a long time and correspond to the desired end use, they are tested extensively, often over two to three years, with a large group of professionals and consumers. There is also an internal lending station for all employees to test the products.less
Production is located in three locations in Asia: Taiwan, Vietnam and China. Exped’s fabrics are manufactured in bluesign® or STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified operations in Taiwan, South Korea and China. The bluesign® or STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified dyehouses are located in South Korea and Taiwan, where specific government regulations on water and emissions management are in place.less
Environmental and Social Projects
Exped is a member of the EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association) and thus supports environmental projects.
In addition, they engage in material donations in various social projects (such as sleeping bags for refugees, homeless people, victims of disasters), etc.
If packaging work or similar activities occur at their Switzerland location in Switzerland, Exped collaborates with a social workshop.less
Product Transport Strategy
The long product cycles typical of equipment brands (12-36 months or more until a product is redesigned) allows for the consistent transportation of products by ship from Asia to Europe and North America. When it comes to offsetting CO2, Exped focuses on small-scale distribution, as it has the most intensive CO2 impact per single product. All CO2 emissions of product transport in Exped’s home market, Europe (DACHFI), is offset by DHL GoGreen CO2, the same is true for are courier companies (UPS, etc.).less
Exped is very proud to use plastic-free packaging. Thanks to sophisticated plug-in systems designed by packaging experts, it is even possible to pack without using glue for the most part. For some products, Exped has reusable storage bags that are – in the widest sense – part of the product. These are often made from material cuttings that would otherwise be waste. In order to protect the products and the packaging from moisture on long sea journeys, the goods are stored in a large plastic bag in the transport box. From 2020 all POS cardboard boxes will be FSC certified.less
Events and Fairs
Exped’s event booth has been around for 20 years, but has renewed the booth in 2019 to have more flexibility and clarity.
Sales meetings are handled in a reduced manner, only European distributors are invited. Most staff training is now done via video.
All these aspects play into Exped’s clear strategy to reduce emissions from employee travel. Employees prefer to travel by train, while intercontinental travel involves flying in economy class. Employee travel is completely compensated for, with myclimate.
Exped focuses on pragmatic and minimalistic advertising production. Product photos generally come from the numerous field tests, which are carried out by mountain guide schools for example.
The workbook is online and only a very limited number of printed workbooks is available. They are FSC certified and carbon neutral. Only a tent flyer is still printed.
Furthermore, Exped lends cardboard displays to their dealers.less
Repair is always a top priority at Exped and everything that can be repaired is repaired, even if it’s more expensive than replacing it. Repairs and part replacements are handled very accommodatingly. Exped has three of its own repair shops, one in Switzerland, one in Germany – for the EU, and one in the USA. The information can be found on Exped’s website and also at the dealer. Spare parts are mostly free for customers, even if they are replacing lost items.
Exped has a large stock of material that is constantly being supplemented with old, disassembled parts. Exped has a repair database which is referenced by designers to improve future product development. Customers can also send their sleeping bags to be refilled. As a result of diligent product development, Exped has relatively few returns. Close cooperation with the dealers is very important as they are trained and especially supported in the matter of repairs.less
End Of Life
Since its establishment, Exped has been working with a ‘closed system’ approach to down. The down is taken from old products and cleaned with biodegradable detergent by an RDS certified down supplier and used as a blend with virgin down for new Exped products.
Old products are either sold again, repaired, or disposed of properly. Sometimes, Exped receives requests from study groups or other projects for recycled materials, in which case materials are the recycled down is gladly provided.
An attempt is made to preserve the materials as long as possible, for example, as part of a repair product. For most products, which are made of various materials, recycling is not yet possible. Exped is actively researching possibilities, but unfortunately, there are generally few solutions in the hardware industry today.less
Life Cycle Assessment
No reporting according to GRI standard.
Definition and Share of environmentally friendlier products
Only meaningful products with long-lasting and multipurpose use are produced. Additionally, the product must be repairable.
Definition and share of socially more responsible products
First and foremost, the product production should not harm anyone and enable jobs that which ensure a good quality of life. The products shall enable the user to enjoy nature.
6 out of 20 employees are directly responsible for product innovation and design. Innovation has always been an integral part of the Exped brand. Numerous, groundbreaking product developments come from Exped and have been used as a template for other companies’ products. Read more at “Our History” on the Exped Website.less
Under the question of progress, we ask the brands specifically about topics on which they would like to work on during the next year.
- Expansion of bluesign® and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified materials: greater than 97% of the main materials used should be certified in 2020.
- Complete conversion to FSC certified product packaging and hangtags (until 2020)
- 2020: Create a clear, publicly visible brand statement regarding sustainability with measures and timetables, including sensitization of all Exped employees in Germany and abroad.
Exped participates in the following industry initiatives: EOCA, RDS, R-Value standard for sleeping pads. HIGG Index (is planned / in process)
Exped aims to be more proactive in communicating with potential stakeholders such as customers, NGOs, etc. So far, only targeted requests for transparency have been processed.
“We think that people who experience nature with our products, appreciate nature and want to protect it. By using our equipment, we enable carefree out-door experiences in both simple and demanding weather conditions.”less
Exped maintains long-term partnerships and accompanies its manufacturing partners through changes and restructuring. Exped nominates all main materials, 100% traceability is in place.
The Thunder backpack is made in Vietnam at a facility with which Exped has a longstanding relationship. The fabric comes from South Korea, the aluminum pole from Vietnam. For the aluminum pole, Exped has decided against anodizing because the process in the facility, where the poles are produced does not meet Exped’s ecological requirements. As an uncoated rod would be less durable, Exped has chosen a powder coating.
The sewn-in aluminum hooks come from China and are anodized in a bluesign® certified process. Exped opted for aluminum hooks, as they are almost indestructible and therefor avoid expensive repairs. During each visit to Asia, Exped visits a different sub-supplier to get a more complete understanding of the second (and third) tier supplier.less
About 90% of materials of this backpack are made of STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified components. Only a few parts, like the foams are not yet certified.
Multifunctionality plays a decisive role in the design process, as well as excellent reparability. The backpack can be classically loaded from the top but also from the front, which makes the trekking backpack a practical travel backpack as well. An often and widely used product always has a better life cycle assessment than one that is very specific and rarely used.less
97% nylon (polyamide 6), 3% aluminum buckles and rods.
Environmental and Social Management
The code of conduct based on STeP by OEKO-TEX® is communicated to the manufacturer. Exped does not conduct its own audits but has insights into the audit results of other major brands.
Chemical Management (PFC’s)
The backpack is PFC free. A PU coating of the outer fabric ensures that the backpack stays dry.
This product contains no animal ingredients.
The products are transported directly from the manufacturer to the various countries in order to keep the transport routes as short as possible. Transport is done by ship and truck. From the distribution center to the dealer, the products in Europe are sent via DHL Green, compensating C02.less
The backpack is sold without packaging, the hang tags are made of FSC certified paper.
Exped gives a five-year warranty. Free repairs are handled very accommodatingly. This particular backpack is especially easy to repair. Everything can be replaced individually. For each production batch, a few parts such as waist straps etc. are produced in excess (subsequently to order) and supplied to the distributors, so that they have a small stock of spare parts at their disposal.less
Maintenance and Care
A care instruction is attached to the product and can be read in detail on this specific website.
End of Use
Good reparability, very long life. The aluminum components can be easily separated from the product and recycled.
Founded in Zürich, Switzerland in 1983 by Andreas and Heidi Brun, who still own the company today.
Exped is a specialist for outdoor equipment (hard goods), sleeping mats, tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags, hammocks, backpacks, accessories and it employs 20 people.