As a conservation and wildlife photographer, having gear that is kind to both people and planet is deeply important to me. Camera gear that is consciously curated is often a part of sustainable shopping that tends to be ignored… But no matter if you’ve just picked up photography as a hobby, or whether you’re a professional photographer at heart, your gear should not only be practical and protective of your undoubtedly expensive equipment, but also curated in a way that isn’t exploitive of what we need to protect the most.
So, what sustainable + ethical camera gear would I recommend? Let’s get into it!
Camera and Lenses
In general, I think camera companies have a lot to work on when it comes to ethics and sustainable production. It’s a never-ending work in progress, and a complex one at that, particularly due to how detailed cameras and lenses are, and how important it is that they work efficiently…
With that being said, Fujifilm is probably at the top of the list (at this point in time) as they have a clear sustainability report, as well as taking steps to shrink their carbon and water footprint, use natural resources and packaging materials more efficiently, and minimize waste generation and environmental risk. They are continuously working to improve their social and environmental impact, enhance transparency, and address these issues through their business.
On the other hand, Sony has announced that it will power 100% of its worldwide operations with renewable energy sources by 2040, which is a step in the right direction too.
This is definitely a tricky one, as photography is so personal, and what you might look for in a camera or lens, might not necessarily match with sustainability and ethics… Do your research, and find something that ultimately works for you!
Ahh, is there anything more important than a camera bag? I think not. Having good carry gear is ESSENTIAL to any photographer, no matter if you’re a hobbyist or a professional. It’s vital that you have something that is #1 comfortable and functional, #2 the perfect size for all of your gear, and #3 sustainably and ethically made!
For those that want an everyday bag that is not only stylish but also the perfect size, Urth have recently released a new carry collection with everything you’ll ever need! They are ethically made from 70% recycled materials, feature durable aluminium hardware and YKK zips that will last a lifetime, and 5 trees are planted with every purchase too.
For those that prefer a cross body, shoulder, or satchel style, Ethnotek are incredible.
And for those that need something a little more durable for those long adventures (with hip belts, extra padding, waterproof materials etc.), the Shimoda Action X series is the best place to start.
Lens filters take your photography up a level!
Whether you’re wanting to accentuate colours, take long exposure photography without having to worry about the harsh light, or simply protect your expensive glass from the elements (or your own clumsiness – which I definitely need) then Urth lens filters are the one for you. Just attach them to your lens and they’ll do all the work!
Made from low-impact materials and a minimal waste + plastic-free design, Urth have filters for documentary, outdoor, night time, in-studio, special effects photography, and film making too! 5 trees planted with every lens filter sold… Need I say more?
Looking to try a variety of lenses and expand on your creativity? Made from hardened Magnalium, Urth’s consciously crafted lens mount adapters allow you to use third-party or vintage lenses on your camera with ease.
They have a huge selection to choose from so that you can explore new options and enjoy the freedom of mixing your gear. You’ll feel confident knowing that your product was made with the Earth in mind, too.
Tripods are an essential piece of kit for any photographers toolbag, and the Peak Design Travel Tripod is one that I will always recommend. It’s lightweight, incredibly small and compact, pro-level stability, and the entire Peak Design company is based around transparency too. They have inclusive marketing, a clear sustainability strategy, and they’re members of 1% for the planet too!
Look no further, Urth’s glass cleaning kit has everything you’ll need to clean your precious gear. With a pouch made from washable paper, a silicone blower to remove dust, 2 cloths, a bamboo brush, and a glass cleaner made from plant-based ingredients, this consciously curated cleaning kit is not only made with the planet in mind, but also with the intent of giving your gear the clean it deserves.
And of course, 5 trees planted with every purchase.
And there you have it! These are my personal favourite ethical & sustainable camera products – with a particular shoutout to Urth – they have planted 3,753,920 trees so far (at the time of writing this) and their dedication to people and planet is bar none. I cannot wait to see how they continue to grow and change the camera industry as we know it.
This blog post is in collaboration with Urth. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
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