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How important is sustainability?

We loved listening to Monbiot on Boyle tonight.  

We’ve long been fans of George Monbiot. Andy first met him when working as a policy and campaigns volunteer at Friends of the Earth Cymru years ago.  And listening to the likes of George Monbiot has totally shaped our views on sustainability and environmental protection. Here’s a few key points from his conversation, and we thoughtwe’d measure ourselves up against them!

“What we have to do is the big structural political economic stuff. What we’re being told to do is change your cotton buds. And this pathetic micro consumerist bollocks, which just isn’t going to get us anywhere”
“There are a couple of big changes we can make as a consumer that do make a difference”

“stop flying” (tick)

“switch to a plant based diet” (partial tick, Jen and Ollie are veggies, Andy and Toby omnivores)”
“But beyond that, we have to change the system, we need to overthrow the system that is eating the plant – perpetual growth. We’re bursting through all our environmental boundaries, and yet we want to double growth every 24 years? and then double it again?  It’s madness. We’ve got to find a better way of measuring human welfare than perpetual growth and GDP.”

“And it turns out that through massive rewilding, you can draw down lots of the carbon dioxide we’ve already produced!”

“But we can’t do it by pissing around at the margins of the problem. We’ve got to go straight to the heart of capitalism, and overthrow it.”

So where does that leave us, a company trying to sell stuff that’s not essential to people who can afford to buy it?

We try our hardest. We tread a very fine line.  We spend an awful lot of time ensuring that our supply chain is as sustainable as possible, and we only produce products that meet our high standards.  In George Monbiot’s words, some of this is just pissing around at the margins. No-one can ever claim that a SUP is an essential item, or that producing a SUP made out of plastic components is sustainable.  But at least we understand the contradiction and conflict.  And because it matters to us, it influences our every decision.

We make sure that our SUP products last for years, if not decades.  Our production costs are 30% higher than some of our competitors. That’s because we really want our kit to last for for years, if not decades. So that the natural resources used get used many, many times.  We’ve got one rental location where boards are used on a daily basis through spring, summer and autumn, and they’re still using boards three years old!  That just goes to prove that our kit really does last, and you don’t need to upgrade every year!

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