The Antarctic Protector Parka has won Best Winter Jacket in the annual T3 Awards, “standing out from the pack” with its sustainable credentials and expedition-grade performance.
Last year we teamed up with Blue Marine Foundation to support the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs) across four-million square kilometres of Antarctica’s waters. In the first of several initiations to raise awareness and facilitate this vital work, we developed the Antarctic Protector Parka, the world’s first expedition-grade parka made from recycled materials.
We are thrilled to learn that this parka has just been named Best Winter Jacket in the T3 Awards 2021, beating the likes of Fjallraven, Musto and Montane. This is the second consecutive year that Shackleton has scooped the top prize, with our Lightweight Endurance Parka winning in 2020.
“Over the past year, we have tested a raft of winter jackets,” say T3, “and it was incredibly difficult choosing a shortlist, let alone an overall winner. But in the end, for us, one jacket consistently stood out from the pack: the Shackleton Antarctic Protector Parka.”
“When we set out to design the Antarctic Protector Parka,” says Shackleton co-founder Martin Brooks, “a jacket that would be used by field teams operating in and around Antarctica, we were in no doubt that it had to be made from fully-recycled materials. But it also had to perform better than any extreme-weather jacket out there to ensure it could stand up to the freezing temperatures, winds and sea spray that go hand-in-hand with the most unpredictable environment on earth.”
So over the course of many months, we undertook exhaustive research to find the very best materials for the job. We worked with German functional textile specialist Sympatex for the 3-ply outer shell fabric – made from 27 post-consumer plastic bottles, it achieves the highest waterproof rating of 20,000hh – and sourced 800-fill 95/5 goose down to provide insulation to minus 25ºC.
We went further still, using recycled or sustainable fabrics in every detail. The inner storm cuffs are made from Merino wool; pocket linings and chinguard are a recycled polyester/wool blend; and all of the labels, stitching and webbing are made from recycled polyester. All these elements were then brought together in Italy, home to some of the finest craftsmanship on the planet.
At the heart of this parka’s conception was a desire to raise awareness about the significant threats that face Antarctica. The continent and its surrounding waters support nearly 10,000 unique and diverse species, including 15 species of whale and five species of penguin. Furthermore, the nutrient-rich waters encourage blooms of plankton and swarms of krill, which form the basis of the entire ocean food chain. Antarctica and its surrounding waters are vital references for planet health, providing central areas for scientific research. But as global warming melts the ice and the waters become more accessible, pressure mounts from increased industrial fishing fleets and unregulated tourism, threatening feeding grounds and habitats.
“I’ve seen Antarctica’s jaw-dropping coastal zones first-hand,” continues Brooks. “The only way to protect and preserve them from further human damage is to grant them the comprehensive MPA status they so obviously need and deserve. The Antarctic Protector Parka was designed to protect field teams operating in the region – and we are delighted that it has been recognised as the class-leading jacket it is – but we can all play a part in this fight. Head over to Blue Marine Foundation to see how you can help protect Antarctica.”
We made just 100 Antarctic Protector Parkas (less than 20 remain) and for each one sold, we donate £100 to Blue Marine Foundation. See the range here.