Everyone Says It
But can they back it up? This blog is not meant to moan and it's not meant to call out those that indiscriminately pepper their posts/products with it!
What are we talking about....?
The 'S' word!
The thing about sustainability is, there are many ways to become more sustainable, but to actually be sustainable takes a lot of work. Any brand, of any product that commits to become more sustainable deserves support and love, but those that use the word to sell/green wash/clout chase deserve to be ignored.
Ocean Bottle, a B Corp Company, are working hard with their #NBS sustainability campaign where they are 'reclaiming the word'!
How Do You Know
This is the tough part. It's not easy and in most cases you have to trust that the brand making the claims are ethical and have integrity. Sadly, sometimes this isn't case and brands will throw out big numbers or great buzz words. Remember, the golden rule of FatStick....ASK US, and in turn ASK THEM!
Congratulate by all means, but don't hesitate in putting the question of how, what and why?
If a business is actually Carbon Neutral/Negative, they will have a nice certification to prove it. Ask to see it. The fact of the matter is, throwing cash at a situation and attempting to 'buy yourself green' doesn't work. You have to change you practices, processes and products. You also need to have a handle on your supply chain - and not simply the first level, but the second, third and so on all the way back to the people that produce the raw materials. Carbon Neutral is an incredible achievement and one that deserves to be celebrated, not diluted by false claims.
Talk The Talk AND Walking The Walk
What are FatStick doing? Are FatStick carbon neutral? Why are FatStick so invested?
We have spent the last 2 years working to change our processes. As we grow, producing more products, we must take on more responsibility for our actions.
- We have committed to removing as much single use plastic as possible from all our packaging in our boards and also in our products too.
- Clothing arrives in cardboard boxes and is sent out in paper packaging. Accessories arrive, where possible, in boxes and are also sent out in card or paper.
- Using good carriers selected by Diamond Logistics, such as DPD who have a Corporate Social Responsibility document explaining everything they do and how they are doing their bit in driving change.
- Diamond Logistics have taken on deliveries of our hard boards and group deliveries to reduce the journeys, reducing carbon output.
- Changing packaging options on our hardboards which is currently ongoing.
- Being transparent in our position and showing our processes.
- Supporting environmental charities that help with education as well as collecting and disposing of plastics. The 2 Minute Beach Clean and The Final Straw Foundation work hard and we are very lucky to be able to champion what they do.
- Planting trees for every board bought and every litter pick using Treenation. This means that those who choose to support FatStick can also support the planting of trees across some fantastic projects across the globe.
- Working with a clothing manufacturer who uses 100% renewable energy to produce the FatStick clothing range. The Merch Locker uses sustainable and eco-friendly materials in all of their clothing ranges.
That's a pretty cool list, if we do say so ourselves. With all that happening we must be close to Carbon Neutral, right? Wrong! We're not even going to look, not yet! We know we've got a lot more to do, even with nearly 1 hectares of trees planted (1735 to date) we know that the Carbon Neutral award is a long way off.
Whilst we're not willing to compromise our integrity by fake claims, we are going to make this bold claim (those of you that know us, know that we don't do this very often), we believe that we are one of the most active paddle board brands out there, working on improving our sustainability whilst remaining open and honest about our flaws and bearing our soul in the process.
We are also going to lay it on the line to say that we commit to continue to make more changes as time goes on, and, where possible, we will share our progress, pitfalls and achievements.
Bottom line - we are in this to make a change and so are you!
If you buy FatStick, you are making a difference with all you do. However, we ask, as did the incredible Patagonia ad in the New York Times in 2011, don't buy what you don't need.
We do our best to make all our products stand the test of time. We offer long warranties to help the boards stay out of landfill.
The clothing should be worn until it gives up, then we ask you to make something of it.
Rags to pillow cases - anything. If we can fix it, we will. If we can't, we work to repurpose and reuse.
We're on this journey and there's no getting off! Luckily, we have some pretty epic company on board with us!