FAQs

About Innate

 
A: We are committed to reducing our ecological footprint. Our design philosophy of Leaner, Cleaner, Greener combines leaner designs with cleaner production processes, moving us towards greener products.
A: A chain of custody is a system for tracking and testing the raw materials and the manufacturing processes used to make our finished products. Tracking of materials is done by a "follow the money" ledger accounting method. Testing is done by our supply chain contractors, and verified by additional tests performed by independent third parties. A documented chain of custody is just one example of Innate's commitment to transparency in how we do business.
A: We use a few simple icons to graphically call out points of information and innovation. Here's a quick guide.
A: The results are mixed. Like any organization engaged in designing and making products, achieving these three criteria simultaneously is not an easy task. There is no perfect business, least of all ours, and there is no perfect production facility. That said, we are committed to placing business with facilities that show a desire to engage on these tough issues and participate in meaningful remediation discussions where our expectations and the law are not met.
A: The contract facilities we work with are located in China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea. Not surprisingly, China is where we face the most challenges in meeting the expectations of our sourcing policy. The core problem continues to be excess overtime during peak production periods. To address this, we have devised a unique engagement model to help resolve the tough issues of fair labor practices and workplace safety. We have engaged ELEVATE Global Limited, a highly regarded auditing and remediation firm specializing in pragmatic factory solutions. They work with our factory process consultants to benchmark, discuss and help implement processes in our leading production facility. These discussions have revealed some uncomfortable truths concerning the behavior of Innate and other western brands. We want compliance, yet the reality is that local government enforcement of labor laws is uneven. Often, facilities that take a leadership role in labor practices do not get financial support in the form of orders from western customers. In addition, western companies stay competitive and reduce expenses by using a “just-in-time” delivery model, in effect downloading the cost of maintaining inventory to the factory. This puts a huge strain on the factory's workforce, since demand from all brands typically peaks at the same time of year. Although we represent less than 10% of overall plant capacity, giving us correspondingly limited influence, we have set up a dedicated production line for our products. By producing consistent quantities of product year round, we hope to flatten out the demand "bulges" that contribute to unfair labor practices.
A: We place orders with production facilities that meet the following criteria: 1)    An ability to meet the expectations of our sourcing policy and supplier code of conduct. 2)    A proven track record of delivering on time and to world class quality standards. 3)    Costs that are adequate to cover Innate's high environmental, labor and quality standards, yet low enough to allow realistic and competitive retail pricing.

Packaging

 
A: Good packaging protects a product from damage in transit and on store displays, reduces or eliminates safety and hygiene risks, and provides information about the product's features and benefits. Meeting these goals while staying true to our philosophy of Leaner, Cleaner, Greener is a serious challenge. Since the leanest, greenest material is none at all, for products at low risk of damage in shipping and on display, we often dispense with boxes entirely in favor of simple hangtags. We specify packaging materials with the highest possible recycled content, with a clear chain of custody. For all our cardboard packaging, we request 100% post-consumer recycled fiber and accept no less than 80%. We also request recycled content with our polypropylene packaging, but we are currently confronting issues of consistency and durability, as well as food safety. Until these problems are solved, our most effective strategy is to reduce the amount of polypropylene we use. Our main challenge is finding consistent, certified and traceable sources of packaging materials. Many of our packaging suppliers do not have a formal process for independent validation. We are introducing our suppliers to source-certification programs, since these provide a credible link between environmentally responsible sources and the use of those materials. We then strive to ensure that the production materials and processes used will not have environmental health impacts. We are introducing our suppliers to a Packaging Restricted Substance List (PRSL) that will reflect the European Union’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. Bottom line: Innate seeks to minimize our packaging footprint through mindful design, materials choices and manufacturing processes. We will continue to pursue best practices and work with our suppliers to move forward. We'll keep you posted on our progress.
A: We have gone through several different versions of packaging and have found that using curbside-recyclable polypropylene packaging is a happy medium between critical product success and ecological responsibility. We recognize and agree that there is a larger footprint than previous versions of packaging that we've tried, but unfortunately in a competitive marketplace we must make compromises. On the positive side, the polypropylene material we use is food-grade and curbside recyclable #5 plastic in many communities, just like dairy containers. The challenge is to design packaging that ensures we sell enough to stay in business, while at the same time stays true to our philosophy of Leaner, Cleaner, and Greener. We incorporate careful design for the packaging used. For example, we may only use a hang tag rather than a box if the product does not need significant information or features and there is minimal risk of damage in shipping and display. We will continue to seek to reduce the amount of material used, while at the same time balancing our need for successfully presenting our products in the marketplace. Product Warranty

Product Warranty

 
A: We warranty all Innate products to be free of defects in materials or manufacture for the duration of their intended useful life. The term "intended useful life" reflects the choices that must be made when designing innovative, clean products for active lives. For example, some products in our collection are designed for fast-moving, remote travel. They feature lighter materials, but the trade-off is reduced abrasion and puncture resistance. We provide clear information on our products' intended uses to help you make informed purchasing decisions. For more information on warranty returns and exchanges, click here. Still have questions about the Innate warranty policy? Please contact us.
A: Please contact the retailer where you purchased our product. If you live in a remote location, contact us with an attached photo of the warranty issue and we will get back to you within two business days.
A: If you have lost your care and safety insert, please contact us and our team will send you a digital copy.

Materials

 
A: Stainless steel is an iron-carbon alloy with a minimum content of 10.5% chromium.  Stainless steels are far more resistant to corrosion, stains and rust than regular steels. There are many different types of stainless steel. We use a premium, sanitary-grade form of austenitic steel called type 304, 18/8. This steel is alloyed with 18% chromium and 8% nickel for exceptional corrosion resistance. It is widely used in quality food containers because it does not leach chemicals, stain, corrode or rust.
A: All of our steel drinking containers are made with a premium food-grade 304 stainless steel, containing 18% chromium and 8% nickel. To ensure reliability, all the raw materials undergo documented testing. We chose this 304, 18/8 alloy for its consistent quality and because it does not leach chemicals, stain, corrode or rust. Unlike aluminum containers, stainless steel containers need no coating or lining on their inner surfaces. At the final stage of manufacturing, we scour the insides of Innate bottles with an electrolytic charge and dolomitic sand blasting, so that only a clean, inert surface awaits your beverage of choice.
A: Aluminum containers dent more readily. More critically, an aluminum container also needs a lining material to prevent leaching and taste transfers. Typically this liner is a baked-on lacquer containing varying amounts of BPA. To our knowledge, only one manufacturer of aluminum bottles with a BPA-based liner has perfected a process that leaches less than two parts per billion of BPA, which is virtually undetectable in independent laboratory tests.
A: Biphenyl-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS) are catalysts, or building-block chemicals, that are necessary to make the plastics used in some drink containers. Rising scientific and consumer concern about the health risks posed by BPA and BPS has resulted in some manufacturers voluntarily stopping their use and some jurisdictions restricting their use through legislation. BPA is a known endocrine disrupter that mimics the human hormone estrogen. BPS appears to behave in a similar manner, though further studies are needed. An increasing number of recent studies and accompanying media reports on BPA have detailed concerns about low-dose exposure. These studies postulate that polycarbonate containers could be leaching BPA into liquids and foods. There is a growing body of work that theorizes that exposure to BPA and other endocrine disruptors may raise the risk of certain cancers and hamper fertility.
A: Phthalates are chemicals that are typically used in plastics, in particular PVC, to increase their flexibility, but they are also found in a variety of other products. Some research has shown that phthalates leaching out of plastic products and containers cause increased risk of birth defects, liver cancer, kidney problems and other hormonal imbalances in laboratory animals.
A: No. We do not spec or use any materials that contain BPA, BPS or phthalates in our product line.
A: No. All of our steel drinking containers are made with a premium food-grade 304, 18/8 stainless steel. Unlike aluminum, this material won't leach chemicals, stain, or corrode, so it requires no inner coating or lining.
A: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a department of the U.S. Dept. of Public Health and Human Services, notes in a report that health issues related to nickel are determined by the manner and degree of exposure. About 10 - 15% of the population is susceptible. The ATSDR notes that exposure may arise from handling high nickel-content products such as poor quality jewelry or coins or from inhaling dust near nickel industries. The most common reaction to handling nickel is a skin rash at the point of contact. Our containers are made from a tested, food-grade 304, 18/8 stainless steel containing approximately 8% nickel. This is a far lower level than the items that the ATSDR have noted as causing health issues to those susceptible.
A: Three reasons: •    In cold conditions, you won't run the risk of your lips sticking to the bottle while drinking. •    You’ll save on dental bills when drinking and driving on bumpy backcountry roads (provided you stick to non-alcoholic beverages). •    The thread pattern fits the bottle adaptors of leading backcountry water filters, including MSR and Katadyn.
A: We keep a tight focus on our testing and quality processes through a comprehensive raw materials chain of custody. In plain English, that means we use ongoing monitoring to ensure we're meeting international food-grade standards. We subject our containers to internal materials tests, and back these up with tests performed by an independent company, such as SGS. This two-layer testing ensures we meet US FDA, European Norm and California Prop 65 food container standards.
A: Silicone is a synthetic rubber containing bonded silicon (a natural element found in sand and rock) and oxygen. Food-grade silicone is non-stick, stain-resistant, and hard-wearing. It also cools quickly and tolerates an extreme temperature range. There are no known health hazards associated with use of food-grade silicone. Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages, or produce any hazardous fumes.
A: Athletes, such as trail runners, need efficient access to water to maintain hydration and uncompromised performance. For these users, we've developed a collection of polypropylene drink bottles with unique, functional features. We recognize that stainless steel may still be your first choice for your downtime, but we're confident that once you've tried our polypropylene options for your athletic pursuits, the logic of their materials and design will be crystal clear.
A: We chose polypropylene over other plastics because it is superior in three critical ways: 1) No environmental health concerns. Unlike many plastics (PET, polycarbonate, etc.), polypropylene is free of endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as antimony, BPS or BPA. 2) Compared to the LDPE used in most athletic bottles, polypropylene has far less taste pick-up and transfer. 3) Bottles made of copolymers, such as those using Triton™ brand materials, require a special recycling facility. However, polypropylene is curbside recyclable at the end of the product’s life.
A: Yes, we use a tested food-grade compound containing latex on our pop-top and flip top lids. These are found on our single wall Vite and Mizu products and our Kaze Flip vacuum bottle.
A: No. We do not spec or use any materials that contain PVC in our product line.
A: We work with our production facilities to measure food and drink temperature changes after appropriate preconditioning for hot and/or cold use. We classify a product as hot if the contents are 140°F/60°C or warmer and cool if they are 40°F/5°C or colder. To allow accurate comparison across products, we test in an environment with a consistent temperature of 68°F/20°C. Your real-world results will be affected by the ambient (outside) temperature.
A: Innate specifies 304, 18/8 stainless steel in all containers. We use a "best-in-class" raw materials testing program to ensure that this is the case. Type 304, 18/8 stainless steel has austenitic properties due to the composition of a minimum of 0.15% carbon, 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This provides a crystalline structure that resists corrosion and has non-magnetic properties. The processes to make an Innate container involve hydro swelling. This cold working process can change the properties of the stainless steel, rendering them mildly magnetic, but does not affect the corrosion resistance. This change in properties has been documented in a book titled Stainless Steels by Joseph R. Davis, ASM International Handbook Committee.

Care and Use

 
A: Yes, Innate containers can be washed in the top rack of home dishwashers. However, we recommend hand washing them in hot soapy water, rinsing well and then drying. This will result in the maximum leak-free life for your container, since repeated heat from the drying cycle may degrade the seal between the polypropylene collar and the stainless steel container.
A: No, stainless steel will not react. However, we don't recommend storing acidic beverages in a stainless container for long periods of time. If you have done this, we recommend cleaning the container using a bristle brush and a solution of white vinegar and baking soda, rewashing in hot soapy water, rinsing well and then drying.
A: No. Your beverage will swell as it freezes. This may damage the seal on the threaded collar and cause leaking.
A: No. Besides causing a burn hazard, cooking in your container will melt the PP collar.
A: Not normally, but to be on the safe side, we do not recommend storing ionized water in stainless steel containers. There are a number of reasons for this:

1) There are many different types of stainless steel with varying mineral content from materials such as Chromium and Nickel that do not all have the same ionic state.
2) Many ionized waters have different PH levels and some are very acidic.
3) Very acidic fluids could cause very minor amounts of leeching from the stainless steel. We do not recommend stainless steel containers be used with acidic drinks.

Innate uses austenitic or 300 series stainless in our containers. The 304 series stainless steel we use is alloyed with 18% chromium and 8% nickel, which makes it significantly more resistant to corrosion than 200 series stainless that is used in many lower quality containers. However, to be on the safe side, we do not recommend that stainless bottles made with 304, 18/8 stainless steel be used to store acidic fluids.
A: Less than you might expect. Our stainless steel bottles are comparable in weight to equivalently sized polycarbonate containers. For specific weights, please see each individual product page.
A: It's a seam from the construction process where the roll of stainless steel was welded with a lead-free, argon gas flame. The resulting tube then went through a series of hydraulic swelling and heat-treating processes to create the specific model shape. Finally, the interior was scoured with a combination of dolomitic sand blasting and an electrolytic charge. This results in a clean, inert interior surface that requires no liner or surface coating (Unlike aluminum drinking containers, which do need liners. These liners are often a coating lacquer containing BPA).
A: This is the smell of the food-grade silicone used in the sealing rings. Silicone is an inert substance that won't transmit food tastes. To remove the odor entirely, wash the container in a solution of baking soda and warm water, and then rinse it thoroughly.

Vacuum Container Specific Questions

 
A: A vacuum container is a container that keeps its contents hotter or cooler than the environment by removing the air between the inner and outer wall. Picture two thin-walled steel bottles, one nested inside the other and sealed together at their necks.
A: A: In a regular double wall container, air remains between the two walls. Through conduction and convection, this air speeds the rate at which the temperature of the container's contents equalizes with the outside temperature (I.E. your hot coffee turns lukewarm quicker or your iced latte becomes tepid faster). In a vacuum container, the air between the walls is sucked out before a final seal is applied. This creates an insulating vacuum between the inner and outer walls, so your beverages stay hot or cold significantly longer.
A: No. If you use an Innate water bottle lid, you should not use it with hot liquids.

Food Storage

Stainless Steel Single Wall Food Storage

 
A: Yes, the food-grade silicone will withstand a regular setting in a household dishwasher.
A: Yes. Innate uses an EU (European Union) food-grade silicone. We find that this has superior properties to cheaper American FDA-grade silicone. Food-grade silicone does not react with food or beverages, or produce any hazardous fumes.
A: No. The lid is made with silicone that meets FDA and EU food contact grade requirements. This means that the pigments are free of substances such as phthalates and heavy metals.
A: No. Using the stainless steel main body over an open flame, camp or kitchen stove may heat warp the container and prevent the lid from forming an effective seal.
A: The MC2 is leak proof if the lid is properly pressed into place. If you are worried about leaking onto documents or electronics, then we recommend placing it in a watertight bag for added safety.

Travel Storage and Essentials

Materials Information

 
A: The repurposed woven fabrics in many of our storage products come from a Taiwanese plant that makes some of the finest backcountry sleeping mattresses in the world. We worked with their team to divert scrap fabric that was previously incinerated for power generation. The carbon footprint reduction is significant: according to data from the original material supplier, 1 kg of repurposed fabric results in a carbon footprint savings of roughly 1.8 kg.
A: The difference between repurposed and recycled doesn't depend on what is done with a material. Instead, the definitions refer to the order and context in which the processes happen.

Pre-consumer/post-industrial materials that are used by the same organization that created the waste are considered "repurposed" if they are diverted before they enter the solid waste stream.

To meet the US Federal Trade Commission definition of "recycled”, a material must be sold through a third party, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer) or after consumer use (post-consumer). This effectively means that the material must have entered the solid waste steam before being recovered or otherwise diverted.

In either case, materials may be converted into new products in a variety of ways. Scraps of fabric can be sewn directly into consumer items or plastic waste can be melted down to be recast into new items.
A: Innate's design philosophy commits us to choosing repurposed and recycled materials wherever possible. Where we must use virgin fabrics and materials, we give preference to facilities with an environmental management system (EMS). These choices reduce our environmental footprint in clear and measurable ways.

Having an EMS means that a facility has committed to a self-correcting and ongoing improvement system. This reduces the environmental impacts of its activities and ensures compliance with environmental regulations. An EMS provides a structure for making environmental considerations part of the facility's day-to-day operations, thereby continually improving environmental and human health. It also means that the facility provides independent verification that it is following the system.

An excellent example of the EMS behind many of the materials and fabrics we purchase is the one offered by bluesign® technologies of Switzerland (www.bluesign.com). Bluesign provides independent auditing of a textile mill's manufacturing processes, from the raw materials and energy going in to the water and air emissions going out. Bluesign's audit team ranks findings in order of concern and suggests best practices. Textile mills that commit to adopting their recommendations, and to having this independently verified, can achieve bluesign system partner certification.

Travel Storage Products

 
A: The Innate Active Travel Storage collection answers the design challenge of providing weatherproof storage to keep your essential items for outdoor, travel and mobile life dry and organized. Design features, materials and construction are geared for performance. For example, we use stitch-less radio frequency welded seams that keep your contents drier longer. RF-welding is much more durable than conventional sewing with seam taping. This is used on many comparable products, but often peels off when exposed to the very elements they need to guard against (I.E. damp humid conditions). Materials have been selected with an eye to combining performance with footprint reduction via some “dot connecting” of repurposed and recycled materials. Where virgin materials are used, we give preference to those made in facilities with Environmental Management Systems. We’re gratified by the ongoing feedback we get from committed travelers who contact us to compliment us on our designs.
A: The difference between repurposed and recycled doesn't depend on what is done with a material. Instead, the definitions refer to the order and context in which the processes happen. Pre-consumer/post-industrial materials that are used by the same organization that created the waste are considered "repurposed" if they are diverted before they enter the solid waste stream. To meet the US Federal Trade Commission definition of "recycled”, a material must be sold through a third party, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer) or after consumer use (post-consumer). This effectively means that the material must have entered the solid waste steam before being recovered or otherwise diverted. In either case, materials may be converted into new products in a variety of ways. Scraps of fabric can be sewn directly into consumer items or plastic waste can be melted down to be recast into new items.
A: The cases we describe as weatherproof feature stitch-less, radio frequency welded seams and PU-coated zips. In extreme conditions, a small amount of moisture could seep in through the small gaps at the zipper head. That means these cases are not technically “waterproof”. Nor are they the right choice for electronics or irreplaceable documents. However, they will keep out a lot more rain than cases made with uncoated fabrics and ordinary zips. That makes them “weatherproof” and an excellent option for staying organized in the field.
A: It's fabric scrap leftover from clicker-cutting sheets of urethane, which is used for reinforcements in running shoes. This scrap is sold by the running shoe factories to a converter who re-polymerizes it into rolls of recycled film. Data provided from our supplier indicates that, after allowing for the impact of transportation, this recycled material has a 30% smaller footprint than virgin material. That's a significant reduction.
A: Only the products identified as having food-grade coatings or laminates should be used for food storage.
A: You should hand wash them with warm soapy water, rinse well and air dry. We recommend using a technical gear wash to ensure the material stays hydrophobic (water repellent). Regular detergents turn fabrics hydrophilic over time. That is, water will soak into the fabric rather than beading and rolling off of it.
A: Our Meta Air or Caravan products with a complete polyurethane window will pass at most airport security checkpoints.
A: Hard to say. It depends on the size of your chosen Innate travel storage product relative to how much you can compress the items you need to pack. Innate products such as our Caravan Compartments won’t permit aggressive compression due to the strain that would be placed on the zippers. Our Mentor Storage or Organizer Sacs, with the H2 Flow valve, allow you to purge out excess air when using the roll top feature. This allows you to take greater advantage of those nooks and crannies in your pack, a bike pannier or kayak.
A: Yes. We recommend you use heavy-duty, marine-grade dry bags if you plan on having your gear fully submerged. Innate Mentor Storage Sacs, with their roll-top closures, are designed to be waterproof. However, we do NOT recommend storing electronic equipment in any product that is not fully submersible. Innate travel storage products featuring radio frequency welded seams are weatherproof, but not submersible.
A: No, there are no buoyant materials used in any of our storage products.
A: Yes, sharp pointed objects will puncture these materials.
A: The O2 Flow one-way compression valve is designed to vent excess air, allowing the sac to be easily stowed inside a bigger bag or on a closet shelf. If the sac is not currently under external compression, it will gradually re-expand as the valve allows air to slowly leak back inside.