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Trees for life and carbon neutrality

GoBeyond – trees4sup

As part of our #GoBeyond initiative, at the start of this year (it’s now April 2019) we made ourselves a commitment to do more to support rewilding initiatives, and to move towards carbon neutrality.

And then we found out about the rewilding charity #treesforlife. And decided that we could probably combine the two commitments!

We can’t make any bold claims about carbon neutrality, because we’re working with our manufacturers to properly quantify the embedded carbon in our whole supply chain. And that takes time.

But in the meantime, we’re working with trees for life to set up our corporate grove.

Why have we chosen trees for life?

Some tree planting/carbon offestting schemes charge as little as 11p per tree, and plant them in random far away places with little real governance over the people who plant them or how they’re looked after. Some of the worst offestting companies actually cut down virgin rainforest to then replant them with saplings. Sadly, you can actually do more harm than good by supporting these cheaper and less ethical schemes.

Trees for life charge £6 per tree planted – which is enough to ensure the tree is maintained as part of our McConks corporate grove. And our grove is part of a much wider rewilding the Highlands project, therefore part of a designed and long term project.

We’ll share more details in due course.

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Tried, tested and trusted | rugged inspiration

McConks iSUP

Tried, tested and trusted | rugged inspiration

When you’re looking to buy a new piece of sports kit, who do you take your inspiration from?

The very biggest sport brands, whether this be the likes of generalist sports brands like Adidas and Nike, or specialist watersports brands like Fanatic or Starboard, want you to take your inspiration from the top professional athletes in whatever the sport is. After all, one of the key reasons they sponsor the top competitive athletes is to make sure that you see fine athletic specimens, in their prime, on their branded kit. And if the marketing works, then just maybe, your brain will connect the whole ‘looking fit and winning’ with the brand itself. And that little seed in your head will grow and develop into a buying urge, because, perhaps one day, you too can be atop that podium just like those stars.

Without wanting to shatter anyone’s dreams here, how likely is that? And how appropriate is the kit that the Pro’s use for us mere mortals. Unless you’re training daily, have a six pack, and get a brand new board or ten every year, then probably not that appropriate. In the world of paddleboarding for example, although the top pro’s might be able to successfully paddle and trim a 22″ wide board, good luck to most of the rest of us 🙂 If there is one golden rule of cynical sales and marketing, it reads something like ‘sell to who they wish they were, not who they are’. And that’s exactly what those big brands do.

We’ve always drawn our inspiration from different sources at McConks.

When choosing cars, we’ve always gone for cars that cab drivers use. There’s a reason why they’re chosen – they’re solid, reliable, and will last for years. And for watersports, we look at what outdoor education professionals and instructors use. Unlike the top sponsored athletes, they actually have to pay for their kit, out of ever decreasing budgets, and unlike sponsored athletes or ambassadors they’re not going to get given a new board for every discipline or environment. So they need kit that performs in wide range of conditions for a wide range of people, and they need to know that it will last for years. We think rugged, functional and versatile win out every day over shiny, elite and specialist!

Rugged, functional and versatile

These are word often used to describe our inflatable SUP boards and paddles by those very people we draw inspiration from. It’s the ethos that underpins our whole line up, and it probably explains why we’re so popular with outdoor activities providers. From the Princes Trust to Air Cadets, from Scout Groups to School Outdoor Ed Centres, from independent instructors to MOD trainers, our fusion technology boards have been tried and tested in challenging environments for three years now. And still look and perform as well as they did on day one.

So what will you choose?

If you want rugged, functional and versatile kit that’s tried, tested and trusted in harsh environments for over three years, you know where to come!