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Let’s talk about sustainability and ethics in the inflatable SUP world

It’s fashionable to claim to be green and ethical.

Everyone is at it these days, with all sorts of claims. So let’s talk about what it really means to be #ethical and #sustainable. ?

To us it’s about a whole lot more than planting a few trees, using green energy or doing plastic litter patrols. And being ethical is about a bit more than brands stating that they give lots of money to charity.

All of these things are awesome, and important in their own right. And every company should do more.

But the whole ‘buy more shit you don’t really need’ cycle is fundamentally unsustainable and should be any ethical company’s starting point. It was our starting point anyway – which is why our products are a little more expensive than their cheaper (and less sustainable) competition.

Being sustainable means making sure that your kit lasts for years. And that costs money.

It means making sure that the raw materials are sourced as sustainably as possible. And that costs money.

Being ethical means more than stating on your website that you give to charity. It means, for example, making sure that your raw materials are made in factories where the workers are treated fairly and well, and where the health and welfare is the most important consideration. And that costs money.

And this is just the start of it. And it all costs.

We can honestly say, hand on heart, that if any other brand claims to be truly ethical, or sustainable, but is selling a similar product at a lower cost than us, then corners have been cut somewhere. Whether that is quality, ethics, sustainability or somewhere else, we can’t tell. But rest assured, those costs are cut somewhere.

And if ethics and sustainability really matters to you, and you want it to be a differentiator, it can be hard. Because most companies these days engage in the art of greenwash. Using pretty words and a few green initiatives to claim to be green. But just look at the whole range of products a company sells. That normally gives them away. If they’re happy to sell cheap merchandise, the chances are that ethics and sustainability are words they use, rather the principles they live and die by!

Our apparel might be most expensive than most of our competitors. But we make very little profit on our apparel (to put this into context, we make less than one pound gross profit per tee shirt). The money goes on the quality of the product, ensuring the workers are paid well, using sustainable, water based inks, only printing on demand rather than dumping waste product, using carbon neutral couriers, using green energy to make and print them. And we could go on, but we’re fairly sure noone is still reading!

If you are still reading and want to know more, check out our GoInspire, GoBeyond and rewilding initiatives.

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