This winter, EcoSki founder Rachael Westbrook worked with Inghams Ski to source sustainable uniform for its staff in the mountains, helping to drive down their operating emissions. By kitting out Inghams Ski employees in jackets and pants from award-winning Finnish brand Halti, the business is edging towards its goal of being net zero by 2050.

We find out more…

ECOSKI doesn’t just rent and sell more sustainably produced brands to skiers, we help our partners improve the carbon footprint of their businesses, too. One of the key ways we’ve been able to do this is by sourcing sustainable, environmentally friendly staff uniforms for ski tour operators — as well as offering discounts on kit rental for their guests, too.

Partnerships with ski companies and tour operators are crucial to us, and something EcoSki is incredible proud of, as we help mountain businesses reduce their emissions and inch towards net zero. Since our launch, we have been working with Hotelplan UK, owner of Inghams, Explore, Santas Lapland, Esprit Ski and Inntravel, who have pledged to halve their emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Hotelplan’s sustainability motto: “We’re going greener so our mountains don’t…” is impressive, helping guests to understand the importance of even the smallest actions.

For the past few years, we have been working with Halti, an award-winning Finnish brand committed to making sustainable clothing affordable and inclusive so “it made sense to marry the two brands together,” explains EcoSki founder Rachael Westbrook, who helped Inghams source sustainable uniform for its ski staff this winter.

“I needed to find affordable, sustainably made kit that work well as a staff uniform and help drive down operating emissions for Hotelplan UK.”

Inghams Ski staff are this season wearing Halti Settler jackets and pants, which are 42% plant-based and PFC-free.

Halti’s UK distributor Jason Summerfield explains: “Halti was started in 1976 but it is relatively new to the UK — we work with a number of stockists including EcoSki. We wanted to ensure that everyone can find a product that works for them, whatever their size, and that sustainable outdoor clothing wasn’t just for people with money, but for everybody. Hence why we have made an effort to make sustainability affordable.”

Rachael adds: “I am so proud we have been able to help with this small part of Hotelplan’s mission to get better and greener. I have been amazed and inspired in equal measure at how much they have achieved since our initial conversation two years ago.”

Heart-shaped snowball

Inghams Ski cleaning staff wear organic t-shirts from Rapanui (based on the Isle of Wight) and the business works with the Re-Action Collective in the French Alps to repurpose its winter 2022/23 uniform, removing logos and repairing where necessary to sell on secondhand (or ‘preloved’) with all proceeds going to benefit local community initiatives in the Alps, including tree planting.

Inghams Ski offers ski holidays to more than 70 resorts in six countries and its partnership with EcoSki is just a small part of the work Hotelplan UK is undertaking to reduce its emissions.

In her winter 2023/24 update, sustainability manager Krissy Roe explained how Inghams has stopped selling indirect flights and business-class flights, aiming to make it as easy as possible for customers to choose train travel and lower carbon transport alternatives — in part by launching a partnership with Eurostar Snow Train in August. Hotelplan continues to work with the ski industry to push for more direct rail travel from the UK and encourages staff to travel by train wherever possible, too.

Inghams Ski properties are working to reduce energy usage by installing light sensors in corridors, LED bulbs and encouraging guests to turn off lights, close bedroom windows and avoid towel changes. Other changes include leaving spas turned off in properties until 4pm, fitting low-flow toilets and shower heads and, in a great move, lab-testing water in all bedrooms to ensure it is drinkable — encouraging guests away from plastic bottles.

This season, Inghams is trialing meat-free evenings once a week in its chalets and, across the board, there are an increased number of vegetarian dishes on menus, well as local/regional food and dishes. Staff are actively asked to reduce the use of plastic bottles, pots and cling film and chefs use the company’s bespoke food and waste management system to calculate ingredients to order down to the nearest gram, minimising food waste. Guests are asked to pre-order meals each morning so only food that is wanted is cooked, reducing leftovers.

Finally, says Roe, Hotelplan UK last year committed more than £1million of investment in carbon removal solutions with and Rewilding Britain. All of this hard work might seem to be happening behind the scenes, but Inghams are definitely going greener so our mountains don’t.

As EcoSki’s Rachael Westbrook adds: “Hotelplan, like us, acknowledges that skiing is not a green activity, but there is so much we can and must do to prolong our much-loved sport and look after our mountains and I am hopeful they are inspiring not only their customers, but other travel operators to follow suit.”