Our experts Franklin, Ben, Katie and Kelly are passionate about challenging themselves outdoors, but they’re keen to do so in a more sustainable way to help protect the wild playgrounds they love.  Below they share their experiences and tips on having more sustainable adventures, from making small changes in their lives to choosing more sustainable gear to reduce their impact on the environment.









What does sustainability mean to you?

FRANKLIN: I think for me, sustainability is about making as little impact as possible as an individual. If everyone’s accountable for their sustainability - for example, how much water we use, how often we wash our clothes, how much food we eat, where we get our food from - then collectively, we can have a positive impact.


KATIE: I think sustainability is the feeling of being responsible for minimising our impact on the planet. When I spend time outdoors in beautiful landscapes, it puts things in perspective. I look around and think, these places have been here for generations, and that makes me realise how important it is to make sure that they’re there for future generations to enjoy. It would be devastating if they were destroyed. 


BEN: For me, sustainability is all about protecting the natural beauty of our planet. Whether it’s making the most of it for our own enjoyment, or looking after it for future generations. It’s about getting the most out of the world we live in while ensuring we continue to thrive.


KELLY: Sustainability has always been a part of my life, as my parents are organic dairy farmers. But with regards to having an impact on the environment, it’s got more personal to me since I’ve had children. I really want to protect resources that we have for future generations. 

Do you think sustainability can feel overwhelming?

KATIE: It can be really overwhelming to think about sustainability and the state of the planet and what we can do as individuals and it can feel like individually you can’t make a difference. But I don’t think that’s true; I think we’ve all just got to do our best. You’ve just got to take a step back and simplify things and think what I can do right now.


We all play a part in that, we can all do things to make a difference. Whether that’s taking home one bit of litter every time you go out for a walk, or making bigger changes like using the car less.


I also think that the more people we can encourage to appreciate and love the outdoors, the more they’ll feel motivated to help protect it.  



What do you personally see as the biggest challenge right now?

BEN: For me, pollution seems like a massive thing right now, but I think we can tackle if we go about it in the right way. It’s important to get your point across the right way, to get people to listen and act accordingly. There’s no need to feel like we’re going to be worse off because we have the means to be sustainable and flourish at the same time.


KELLY: The most pressing issues with the environment for me is the amount of plastic, it’s everywhere. 

What changes are you making in your own lives to protect the environment?

FRANKLIN: As I’ve got older and have had the chance to speak to more people and see other viewpoints, I’ve learnt that things are within my grasp, and I can be more in control of what I choose to do for the environment. So now, I try to make conscious choices daily to be more sustainable. For example, reducing the resources I use, whether that’s water, even gas for heating or electricity. I’ve found that the changes I’ve made have also changed my perspective for the better.


KATIE: In my day-to-day life, I try to minimise my impact and be aware of my responsibility. I think in this day and age, everything is available to us immediately and it’s usually quite cheap, so it can be easy to make a quick purchase without thinking about it. So, one of the biggest things I do is consciously think about whether something is fit for purpose, whether it’s built to last and whether I need it. I think by doing that, I end up with less, but the things I do have are what I need and will last me a long time. 


I also love using freecycle communities and apps because something I don't need anymore will often be useful to someone else. That helps me minimise my waste and keeps things out of the bin. 


KELLY: It’s silly little things, like with packed lunches, we use reusable tubs. Also, whenever I see any rubbish lying around, I pick it up, and the children do too. We also do a beach clean down at the local beach when we’re visiting. 


BEN: I do little things like recycling and generally try to be more conscious when buying stuff. For example, with clothes, I try to make more sustainable choices rather than buying something on a whim that will then end up in landfill. So, for me, it's just making small considerations daily.



How is sustainability impacting your outdoor adventures?

KATIE: As someone who enjoys the outdoors and who reaps the benefits of our outdoor spaces, I do feel like it’s my responsibility to protect them. I want to continue getting outdoors, but I want other people and future generations to be able to as well. 


I spend a lot of time at the coast and in recent years have seen an increasing amount of litter washed up, so I do try to do some litter picking. It can be overwhelming seeing so much rubbish, and you can feel like you’re barely making a dent in it, but even if you only pick up a couple of bits of litter, that’s still a couple less on the beach. It comes back to the idea that if we all do a little bit, we can make a big difference. 


I also know that the amount of gear that ends up in landfill is a huge problem, so I’m careful to look after my outdoor gear. From reproofing it regularly to cleaning my walking boots after every use, I try to do what I can to extend the life of my gear. 


BEN: Working in Snow+Rock I’m always tempted to buy new stuff, but I try to make sure it’s sustainable, it’s going to last me a long time, and it’s something I need rather than want. That’s a big question: do you need that kind of thing? I guess we all want to treat ourselves once in a while. I’m always trying to make sure, if I do buy something, something else goes to a better home, because I don’t want to horde stuff or throw things away. I want it to be used by someone.

Are customers in-store interested in sustainability?

KELLY: Over the last one to two years, I’ve noticed an increase in customers coming in asking for specific sustainable brands. 


FRANKLIN: I find that a lot of customers are interested in sustainability, and when they find out products or brands are more sustainable, it’s a positive thing. There’s a lot of intrigue into sustainable products from our customers.


KATIE: It’s nice to see that the environment is more front of mind. More people are thinking about it. On social media, we see people engaging positively with Snow+Rock’s sustainability services like Recycle My Gear, Repair and Care, Our Planet, and that’s encouraging. 


BEN: It’s something we’re trying to make people aware of, but at the same time not scare them. Quality and value for money is the thing many customers are looking for, so that’s our opportunity as in-store experts to offer advice and steer them towards an option that may be a little more expensive but will last them for longer.


I also think it’s important for us to make sure customers get what’s best for them, rather than focusing on a style or brand, and by doing that, we can help make sure we reduce our environmental impact.


How can we help our customers make more sustainable choices?

BEN: I think we can help customers make more sustainable choices by sharing our knowledge. I try to make customers more aware of brands whose gear I know lasts longer, is better value for money and is more sustainable. 


But I also try to make customers aware of what brands are doing to improve their impact. For example, Picture use sugar cane waste for their products because it’s more sustainable. 


KATIE: At Snow+Rock, I think we try to look at the full circle of a customer's experience with us. We start by helping our customers make the right choice with their gear, in terms of the fit of the products and giving them the right advice from our own experiences to make sure that’s perfect for a customer’s needs.


Finally, we can help customers maintain their gear and extend the life of the products they love with services like Repair and Care.


FRANKLIN: More brands are telling us what is more sustainable about their products – which is helpful. It puts customer’s minds at ease to know more about a product, where it’s from, how it’s made etc. and helps them make a more informed choice.


KELLY: I feel we can help customers make better choices by finding out exactly the product they need, because having the right product means you don't need to buy again. A lot more products now last a lot longer too which is a good thing. 

Why do you think it’s important to act now?

FRANKLIN: I think it’s important for people to start doing things now because it’s a gradual process. We have to start by becoming more intrigued about the changes we can make in our daily lives while still living comfortably. Hopefully, intrigue will gradually evolve into taking action and making changes. 


KATIE: I think we’re all aware of environmental issues, but it can be overwhelming when you think about it all. That's why I think the best thing we can all do is take a look at our everyday actions and choices and do what we can to start making changes now. We don’t need to wait until tomorrow, we can look at our decisions and make those choices today. 


BEN: We need to act now because everything we do may have a potential negative impact down the line. Whether it’s affecting what we do every day now or for future generations. Small changes are easy to make, and if we make them at the same time, we can have a massive impact. It’s not like we’re asking for much from people to be more sustainable, but it’s just getting that across to people so that it’s not scary. It’s not something that’s going to come in the future – it’s here today. And the sooner we act, the greater the health of the planet will be later down the line.  


5 Ways To Be More Sustainable With Your Gear

1. Get the right gear from the off

Quality gear is only worth having if you actually use it. Choosing gear that isn’t right means you’ll end up having to replace it. Our in-store experts are out there exploring so can advise you on what’s best based on their experience. So ask for help, and don’t fill up your wardrobe or worse landfill, with your poor choices.


2. Buy Quality

It’s better to invest in quality gear that lasts. The adage, ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is even more true when you’re pushing gear to the max. Buy quality gear and it will look after you in the most extreme conditions, year after year.


3. Make it Last

Even the best gear needs a little attention now and again to stay performing at its best. Extend the life of your gear by cleaning it regularly and using appropriate aftercare treatments to ensure it spends more time adventuring with you and less time in landfill.


4. Repair

When you tackle challenges head on, accidents happen. The good news is that they don’t have to spell the end for your gear. Our Repair & Care service will get your favourite gear back in the game so you can keep pushing the boundaries.


5. Recycle

Even if you gear has maxed out and is beyond repair, you can still give it a new lease of life. Bring it into your nearest store and we’ll recycle it so it can be broken down and made into something new.

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