JOHNNY: Customers shop differently now to 20 years ago. Back then, they’d buy a new jacket and pants every season, whereas now we get asked if we sell Gore-Tex patches! People are happy to patch things up to make them last. They seem more aware that keeping a jacket or skis for another year will help protect our winter playgrounds for years to come.
Our product range is constantly improving too. We fit ski boots that will last 10-12 years and sell jackets people can get five to six years out of, which helps keep products out of landfill.
Lots of our brands are making changes too, using recycled materials and more sustainable fabrics. We even get ski boots with recyclable plastics.
As in-store experts, I believe we must pass on the sustainability message, so our customers can make the best choice for themselves and the environment.
AMELIA: To be honest, our customers are pushing us to be more sustainable. I’m getting more customers asking about sustainable products and vegan products. For example, fur has always been popular in the snowsports industry, but Snow+Rock only holds faux fur, so I know we can offer a cruelty-free alternative.
I know at Snow+Rock, we only stock the highest quality products, and sometimes people will question the price, but I genuinely believe good gear is an investment. You may pay more initially, but you can be confident the gear will last you longer, so it often works out cheaper. It’s more sustainable because you’re not buying the same garment and disposing of it when it gets damaged; you can get it repaired, and it will carry on performing.
I’ve had a pair of ski pants since I was 15: they’re battered and have handstitched repairs all over them, but they still keep me warm and dry. My dad's ski jacket is older than me, but he loves it so much, and it’s still insulated and keeps him warm. If you love what you’re buying, it pays to look after it, and ultimately that’s better for the planet.
Looking after your gear is the key to keeping it at its best, and in-store, we can help offer first-hand advice about the technical washes and reproofing products we sell. Of course, for those who need more help, our Repair and Care service is great as we can get a garment looking virtually brand new and performing at its best, even if it is damaged.
We also do hardware repairs on ski boots, skis and snowboards, and services.
JEAN-LUC: I always try to encourage customers to go for the more sustainable choice, whether that’s non-fluorinated wax or a clothing brand with good sustainability credentials.
Many of the customers I see don’t want to buy clothing every year, they want something more durable, so I push them to brands I know and use myself because I know they will last.