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By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Few people on this planet love our oceans as much as surfers do. I mean, the sea is where surfers are happiest; they love everything about it, from it’s salty spray and mysteriously beautiful flora and fauna to the hush of the waves and push and pull of the tides. No wonder most surfers run, instead of walk, to the sea when they have a surfboard under their arms!
Keeping in line with this ocean adoration, most companies providing gear for the sport are now not only making their products more eco-friendly, but are also contributing funds to charities that help conserve our seas. Just check out these five great examples of sustainable surf brands below, for example…
From surfboards to sandals, the Green Wave offers great options for environmentally-conscious riders who want great product performance. This is the UK’s first surf shop dedicated to eco-friendly products, in line with the Brundtland Commission‘s parameters on sustainable development.
TGW is highly committed to help organisations that are working hard to keep the oceans clean, the beaches clear, water potable for the less privileged populations in certain surfing destinations. The Green Wave pledges to give its support, whether it involves direct participation, communication support, or fundraising, through a number of programs, including Save Our Seas and Parley for the Oceans.
“The Ocean is Our Playground – It’s Our Responsibility to Protect it” this is the creed that PurKai abides by. Quite sweetly, we think, the ethical clothing surf manufacturer was conceived and launched by eco-minded father and daughter surfers, Noel and Megan Huelsenbeck. The family business is devoted to the creation of sustainable surfboards made using a proprietary blend of EPS recycled foam and bio-based resin, along with stand up paddle boards that are made using organic, recycled and bio-based materials.
Their social responsibility gives back to the local community: they are members of 1% For the Planet and committed to return a minimum of 1% of their revenues to support Ocean Conservation.
This well-loved brand sets an exceptional example in the way it empowers its employees, as the brand profit shares with those who make their goods, and also has a program in place that covers healthcare and college tuition costs for the employees’ children.
But let’s move on to the oceans: this eco-brand truly knows how to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental and social crisis by creating fully sustainable products. Indeed, all of their collections – be they for snowboarding, skiing, running, or, of course, surfing – are all created from fully sustainable materials, like recycled bottles and fabrics, organic cotton oreven recycled fishing nets.
Eleven time World Surf League Champion, Kelly Slater and acclaimed designer, John Moore, joined forces to give life to a brand that would “lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove you can actually produce great looking wear in a sustainable way.” Today, OuterKnown is making some serious changes to how fashion brands manage labour and environmental challenges.
For example, the brand’s partnership with Fair Trade USA ensures safe, healthy and prosperous working conditions to the people that create the label’s apparel. For every product sold, a percentage goes right back to the workers who made them. As for the oceans, 100% of all profits from OuterKnown’s #ITSNOTOK tee shirts go to support the Ocean Conservancy charity, whose mission is to clean and protect our oceans for future generations.
5. Summer Love
SummerLove is famous for the way it creates conscious swimwear with luxe eco fabrics that enhance female curves. The California based label was founded by designer Vanessa Rivers, who decided to use VITA for her swimwear pieces, a sustainable techno-fabric with ECONYL ®: a 100% recycled polyamide fiber made from pre and post-consumer materials such as discarded fishing nets.
To enhance their great ethics even further, SummerLove has become an official partner of the Healthy Seas Initiative, an organization that promotes marine protection by organising the regeneration of fishing nets into yarn for clothing and other useful household product
Purakai images by Black Owl Media