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McConks Go Beyond - our ethical and sustainable principles

We’re passionate about ethics and sustainability – and we’ve founded McConks on ethical principles. Here’s what we’ve been up to, and what we’re currently doing,



Pledge #1 : Boards that last at least as long as their 5 year warranty.

And that means boards you can rely on to keep you safe in the toughest of environments. And we don’t quibble about warranty either. To date, we’ve replaced with new (replaced with new, not replaced with used, and not repaired) every warranty call that’s ever been made. And that’s less than 1% of all the boards we’ve ever made.

Pledge #2 : Supporting small and indy businesses.

Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s better business working with small suppliers. They’re more responsive to our hair brained ideas, more agile to respond to market trends, and always more sustainable and ethically minded than the industry behemoths. And the kit is always better than the big guys as well .

Pledge #3: Investing in the future

Investing in the future, rather than counting the money in the bank. We’ll never get rich from this business, but we will sleep well at night!In reality, over the last 5 years, we’ve invested more like 2% of turnover in community activities, s the 1% of profit is too low a standard!We’ve worked with the National Trust, the Princes Trust, The Hurley Foundation, and the Helston Childrens Trust amongst many more charitable and not for profit organisations, helping disadvantaged or vulnerable children and adults onto the water. We’ve worked with accessibility specialists like Able 2 Adventure, the Wave project, Beyond Boundaries East Lothian to get as many people from different backgrounds and different abilities on the water as safely as possible.

Pledge #4: Climate positive

Where possible we manage our carbon costs, but there’s so much more we can do.We use carbon neutral delivery services, use renewable energy supplies at McConks HQ.We don’t use air express services to fly paddleboards, and as family McConks, and we use an independent Chinese company to audit our suppliers in China so we don’t have to fly over.As a family, we holiday by van rather than plane to reduce our personal carbon footprint. However, the biggest source of carbon in our business is in production of our paddles and paddleboards, and most of that energy is from coal and hydropower of disputed ethics. This is true of every inflatable paddleboard made in China, sadly. There is little we can do about this directly, other than encourage our factory to install photovoltaics and wind turbines, which we do regularly, and which is now starting to have an impact.

Pledge #5 : Ethical and sustainable supply chains

Did you know we’ve been using the same paddleboard and paddle supplier for 5 years? If it’s not broke don’t fix it they say!Each of our boards is inflated for 72 hours, then pressure tested to ensure there has been zero loss of pressure over that time. Then they are inflated again for 24 hours to make sure they haven’t twisted on first inflation (which can happen if there is a manufacturing issue with the raw dropstitch material). Our factories are small independent factories, who know the value of treating their workers fairly, and therefore have a stable, and experienced workforce.Air quality is sampled daily to protect workers health.We pay a premium for this. Our suppliers are at the top end of the market in terms of cost to us. The board alone, without any accessories costs almost double the cheapest complete package we can buy from other suppliers.But it’s worth it for the quality we get in return!

Pledge #6 : Education

We were the first UK brand to include a quick release waist belt with all of our inflatable paddleboards to ensure our customers stay safe!And we’ve just launched an industry first – we’re actually paying our network of instructors to offer free lessons to all of our new customers – so we can sleep at night knowing you have the best information first hand from instructors and clubs who are on the water day in, day out, in all environments. Search for #getsupsafe to find out more, or check our website to access all of the publicly available content we’ve generated (we promise never to put this information behind a paywall!)