As a product made to enjoy nature, Eno needs to do more to start giving back and preserving its environment through actionable and tangible changes to sustainable production and sourcing.
While the hammock isn’t inherently unsustainable at first glance, because it's a product made to enjoy the outdoors, Eno’s double nest hammocks rely on an incredibly wasteful and polluting production process. Not only are the hammock's materials lacking, but Eno as a company is as well. Eno can be more transparent and tangible in its international efforts to improve workers’ rights and benefits along with partnerships and more meaningful collaborations.
Eno’s Hammocks are made out of 70D High Tenacity Nylon Taffeta, known for its strength and durability while also allowing for its compact and lightweight sizing. Nylon is a type of plastic made from synthetic polymers that are ultimately derived from oil and gas production with additive chemicals. Therefore, the production of Nylon is inevitably linked with the petrochemical industry which continues to lead numerous severe negative impacts to the global climate crisis, even compared to other unsustainable industrial polymers. Furthermore, conventional nylon is not biodegradable becoming a further microplastic contaminator.
Sadly, the most common alternatives to nylon today are still regarded as highly unsustainable in their own concerns, and therefore it becomes difficult to suggest an alternative for Eno. One of the most promising alternatives happens to be Viscose Rayon that is biodegradable as its sourced from bamboo. Although still the production process requires numerous harmful chemicals as well. That being said, current research efforts are finding alternative polymers to be used in nylon production that don't come from oil and gas extraction but rather bio-based microorganisms. Although further independent research is probably needed, this could be an interesting area for Eno to explore when considering material alternatives.
Rather than seeking alternatives to create new materials for production, a more sustainable operational approach could be utilizing existing nylon products through a recycled approach. A company already doing this is Econyl, which makes regenerated nylon from landfill and ocean waste in a closed-loop process and is infinitely recyclable. By utilizing recycled nylon, Eno could decrease their waste and encourage consumption habits through either a trade-on or buy-back program if financially feasible.
Lastly, Eno just released a new development of the Billow ™ Air Lounge, which is made from Repreve fabric. This fabric is made from recycled plastic water bottles and is being used today to create more sustainable, eco-friendly products. Another alternative would be to explore the use of this new fabric into Eno’s iconic double nest hammocks.
In terms of the production process, Eno provides little transparency on the location or process of its supply chain production for their product. That being said, our knowledge on the unsustainable and polluting process for the production of Nylon lends itself to the low score for how this product is made. Due to the additive chemicals and connection to oil and gas industries, I can infer that this product is not made with total concern and observation for its environmental impacts. To provide a more clear and accurate rating for this section, I would need further information and transparency which relies on company cooperation and knowledge sharing.
With that being said, from the little light Eno does provide they claim to “abide by an internationally-accepted Vendor Code of Conduct that promotes a fair, safe, respectful, and non-discriminatory working environment for the workers involved in making our products”. While undescriptive and lacking total transparency for Eno specifically, the internationally accepted labor standards are minimal and do not support a sustainable cycle relative to the highly profitable consumption arena that Eno is operating under.
In terms of partnerships, Eno is doing a fabulous job ensuring their partnership paint their company as sustainable and collaborative. By partnering with Trees for the Future, Eno commits to planting two trees for every hammock sold, specifically in underdeveloped and impoverished areas. Furthermore, they have pledged 1% of annual sales to support an array of environmental causes through their partnership with 1% for the Planet. While these all sounds fabulous and encourage a mission of environmental concern and awareness, I want to see more direct and meaningful action internally from Eno to improve its environmental impact from within rather than improving it through external gifts and donations.
Eno appears to be a company all about the outdoors and encouraging environmental involvements as it directly related to their product, however, their sustainability page from the website provides minimal clarity and transparency on any of these direct actions. It states that they are “committed to the journey of building more sustainable and responsibly made products by sourcing high-quality materials with post-consumer recycled content and bluesign® approved chemistry, as well as adopting safer ingredients for water repellents, color dyes, and beyond” while providing vague details on its accepted standards for workers’ rights and treatment.
While this all sounds great, the sustainability page states a lists of goals or ideas to become more sustainable, without any form or proving actionable steps towards reaching them. Without an initiative to continually update and progress on these goals, they are nothing more than empty promises that look good at first glance, which we see all too often nowadays.