It’s that time of year again with thousands of people heading off to surf shops looking for gift ideas.
I have two rules for Christmas shopping this summer… buy environmentally friendly and buy local (and good karma will bring you lots of waves this summer).
Surfing has become increasingly environmentally friendly in the last decade. Surfers have always had a bit of a guilt complex. We love surfing, we love the environment and yet our surfboards and wetsuits (both with high levels of oil based products) are about as toxic as you can get.
For the last three decades Patagonia have been setting the pace when it comes to environmentally friendly surf wear and products. They have been producing amazing clothing from organic cotton for a long time that is high quality and feels good (they have also created one of the world’s first truly organic wetsuits). Patagonia also ensure that their suppliers comply with Fair Trade and Fair Labour regulations. And to top it off they donate a heap of money to support environmental programs and also support a heap of environmental, community and social groups here in Australia and overseas (last year in the USA they donated over a million dollars to environmental groups). Patagonia’s boss, Yvon Chouinard is also known for giving polluters a hard time. He has given US President Trump a ‘bake’ on a few occasions over his environmental policies.
Back on the Surf Coast, Rip Curl have been planting trees for over ten years through their big day out initiative. Rip Curl have also embraced solar power at they’re Torquay Headquarters and hands out grants around the world to support environmental programs. They also hold surfing events with zero carbon emissions that also run on renewable energy.
Just up the road at Quiksilver they have been making boardshorts out of coke bottles for a number of years (they are great) and supporting a large number of environmental and social programs through the Quiksilver Foundation. They also hold regular planting days on the surf coast and support environmental programs in the Pacific.
So when you hit the shops during the next few weeks spare a thought for the surf companies doing something good for the environment. Do your research and support them to continue helping our planet.
It’s not a bad trade off… and you might end up with a nice shirt or pair of shorts!
Written by John Foss