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Green Guru: Made in the USA

Green Guru launched in 2005 with an admirable goal: to use old outdoor gear to make new outdoor gear. Green Guru has developed a partnership with major outdoor retailers wherein the company collects leftover, defective, or otherwise discarded material and converts them into exceptionally useful items from their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

From old bike tubes to wetsuits and climbing ropes, Green Guru has found countless ways to innovate. Their product line includes bracelets, wallets, and a wide array of packs from messenger bags to six-pack carriers. The company has found exciting ways to repurpose spent or discarded material and given their longevity, they’ve found a customer base.

Green Guru’s model seeks to “close the loop” in traditional manufacturing by giving outdoor gear a second life. The process helps local businesses, creates jobs, and helps model a better way of producing and consuming. Customers themselves can even get involved in the process by donating their own materials.

The Colorado Environmental Leadership Program, a statewide environmental recognition and reward program, has awarded Green Guru with gold-level status. The award speaks to the success of their business plan and its impact on stewardship and sustainability.

Our Favorite Green Guru Products Made in the USA

Roll-top backpacks: Made up of a huge hybrid of recycled, upcycled, and conventional materials, Green Guru’s roll-top backpacks are manufactured from products such as upcycled reflective street signs, industrial fabrics, and bicycle inner tubes. This eco-friendly bag not only does good and looks good, but it’s also waterproof and storm-proof. Its roll closure system allows for quick access but also hatches up tight against bad weather, keeping gear close and dry. Great for everyday use or the colorful design versions are great for visibility during hiking. 

Panniers: Green Guru sells a range of panniers for whatever your biking needs. Built on the proven, popular Dutch design, these panniers have easy over-the-rack mounting to any bicycle and can also be used off the bike too. With a variety of sizes, they’ll help you on commutes or larger shopping hauls. They’re water-resistant, stormproof, and built to last. In typical Green Guru style, they’re also made from upcycled repurposed American billboards, heavy-duty vinyl banners, bicycle inner tubes, and recycled fabric, meaning the colors may vary from purchase to purchase. 

Messenger bags: The Alchemy Goods messenger bags are made with reclaimed bicycle inner tub exterior, making them super durable. However, these bags are also designed to be functional, with padded interiors, designed for carrying a 15″ laptop amongst other essentials. The Pike version has additional pockets to keep you extra organized. The sleek black exterior means that these bags are suitable for any occasion. 

Bike frame/saddlebags: Green Guru has a range of bike frame bags and saddlebags. With different sizes, shapes and functionalities, you’re bound to find something to suit your needs, whether it’s bikepacking trips, commuting, or socializing. All are lightweight, versatile, and perfect for stashing personal items without obstruction. Depending on which product you go for, these bike frame bags/saddlebags are typically made out of upcycled and recycled fabrics salvaged from other factories, salvaged industrial tents and awnings, sailcloth, recycled polyester fibers from plastic bottles, and upcycled bicycle inner tubes. 

Manufacturing Notes

Green Guru is built on its commitment to creating sustainable products, reducing the number of materials that go to landfills, and creating high-quality outdoor gear. 

Rescuing materials like billboards, tents, wetsuits, bike tubes, climbing rope, and disregarded factory material has led to a fantastic upcycling initiative. With local bike and outdoor shops offering incentives to donate old gear, and bigger companies like Sea World, Patagonia, and Rei donating their leftover materials and defective products to Green Guru, they’ve been able to create something truly fantastic. 

At their warehouse in Boulder, Colorado, their team takes the donated goods to be sorted, processed, and sewn into finished products. All of their products are handmade in the USA from USA-sourced materials. Their website is very transparent about its manufacturing process, with a video showing a map of the USA and where they source their materials from. In addition, each product page states where the materials were sourced and where they were manufactured (typically at their Colorado factory).

Green Guru hopes to continue growing their business, stating that the more materials they can reclaim, the more jobs they can create, the more they can save from landfills, and the more products they can recreate. It’s no surprise that Green Guru is B-Corp certified and has a gold level status with the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program. If you’re looking for quality outdoor gear that has done a lot to save our environment, then look no further than Green Guru.

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