If you somehow haven’t relaxed into an ENO hammock yet, we recommend doing so as soon as possible. ENO, or Eagle’s Nest Outfitters, has been the leader in “ingeniously crafted parachute hammocks” since their start in 1999 with the introduction of the original Double Nest Hammock. Known for having you “blissfully relaxed in suspended comfort,” ENO hammocks also boast easy transportability, multi-use, and sustainability.
The company initially began as a side project of brothers Peter and Paul Pinholster, Florida Keys natives who “grew up going to Phish and Grateful Dead shows and spent a lot of time in hammocks.” At the start of their side project, Peter and Paul sewed parachute nylon hammocks in their sister’s garage in between shows. ENO initially grew from sales at music festivals and then expanded to what it is today, but not without setbacks. A most notable one was when the ENO headquarters (moved from their sister’s garage to their parent’s farm in Virginia) burned to the ground while they were on the road both working events. With nothing left in Virginia, the ENO team decided to rebuild their headquarters in Asheville, NC because of the high level of resident interest in camping and hiking in the area.
Along with the growing number of NC-based companies looking to grow outdoor enthusiasts and sustainability, ENO is part of Outdoor Gear Builders, which is a Western North Carolina-based companies membership group collaborating to share talents, encourage new ideas and inspire each other. Outdoor Gear Builders member brands are dedicated to “creating exceptional outdoor gear with a focus on responsible manufacturing, cutting edge innovation, and economic growth in our region,” and Recover is also a proud member of the collective.
Laura Wallenta, Marketing Manager at ENO, discussed ENO’s humble beginnings, as the company endeavored to create and connect people to hammock comfort wherever and whenever. Laura described, “ENO started off as a grassroots company operating out of a van and selling hammocks at community gatherings and music festivals across the Southeast. We didn’t invent hammocks, but we did set out to make a portable, easy-to-set up parachute hammock and somewhere along the way a hammock counter-culture was introduced: taking your hammock wherever your adventures lead you.”
Laura continued, “Along the way we patented the first knotless hammock suspension system making it even easier to set up and relax in seconds. Our mission since day one (over 21 years ago!) has been to create high quality relaxation gear that is accessible to all outdoor experience levels and is versatile, comfortable and desirable enough to use and take from backyard to backcountry. Our goal is always to get people outside to explore, connect and relax.”
But that’s not all ENO is about. They are also about creating leadership, culture, and partnerships that in the simplest terms- make the world a better place. Laura dives into this noting, “That commitment to make the world a better place rings true through our product design approach, partnerships and programs, and social responsibility initiatives. On the materials and chemistry side, we’ve adopted the industry leading bluesign® RSL, we source high-quality materials with post-consumer recycled content and bluesign® approved chemistry, and incorporate safer ingredients for water repellents, color dyes, and beyond. On the environmental conservation side, we are proud to partner with a network of exemplary nonprofit organizations that are helping address the most pressing issues facing our planet. We are a 1% for the Planet organization, a Trees for the Future partner (we plant two trees for every hammock sold), as well as a sponsor of Leave No Trace, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Pacific Crest Trail Association, and the National Parks Foundation. As part of those sponsorships we offer special edition hammocks; a portion of the proceeds of each one supports the mission and programming of each individual nonprofit.”
Both ENO and Recover are 1% For the Planet members. One Percent for the Planet is an international organization whose members contribute at least one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes. Their mission is to "build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet." Recover’s Protect Our Parks initiative, which we launched in 2017 to spread awareness, promote engagement, and motivate action to protect and preserve our nation’s wild places is one of the many ways we engage as a 1% for the Planet member along with companies like ENO. ENO also chooses sustainable Recover apparel for its comfy, lifestyle design Women’s and Men’s Mountain to Sea Tee, Relax Tee, and Wayfarer Tee.
Partnership in sustainability efforts is key. Getting into what’s important to ENO and their partnership with Recover, Laura described, “We are fortunate to have a network of exemplary partners at every level and layer of our business, and that is because we carefully vet every partnership opportunity to ensure we are staying true to who we are and what we stand for. Our partnership with Recover is no exception.
We feel both ENO and Recover have missions that complement each other. Both brands share a love of the outdoors and a deep desire to create environmentally friendly and socially responsible products. We greatly admire Recover’s solution-oriented approach to product design and development and commitment to leaving as little trace as possible in the process.”
Leaving as little trace as possible holds true through both ENO and Recover from ENO’s hammock’s low footprint on the environment (see their “Responsible Hammocking Guide” to learn tips and tricks of how to keep environmental impact lowest while camping with your hammock and Recover’s Sustainability Tips for Leaving No Trace in the Places You Love). Ultimately, it’s all about leaving places better and more wild than we found them out there.