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Being more responsible – Red Paddle Co’s eco friendly vision

Like us, Red Paddle Co loves the great outdoors, and as passionate water users it is incredibly important for all of us to look after the surroundings we enjoy and have as little impact as we can.

From the very beginning, Red Paddle Co’s company ethos has been to “never compromise” when it comes to the performance of their inflatable paddle boards.

As time has moved on, that message and determination has expanded into other vital areas of Their company, such as the safety of paddlers, the reliability of their products and a duty to protect the future of our planet.

And they’ve already taken some big steps in the right direction

Phil Hawthorne, Head of Design, says: “The values at the very heart of our company cultivate and drive everything we do; from the circular design of our products to the individual people that form our global community.”

Responsible and circular design

Red Paddle Co’s design ethos is to deliver creative and responsible design which embodies circular economy processes.

A circular economy concept is designing with the goal to move away from cradle to grave products to ensure the materials used can be recovered and re-used, so we are not actually adding to landfill.

environment friendly red paddle co biosphere and technosphere diagram

The biosphere

This is anything that grows and is made with natural elements that at its ‘end of life’ it just dies and you can easily put it back in the ground and it will decompose naturally.

The technosphere

This is usually man-made, such as metals, plastics, glass. The difference here is at its ‘end of life’ you can recover the material by melting it down, re-grinding it, re-using it, re-purposing it.

When you merge the two, that is when you make waste

At a strategic level Red Paddle Co’s design team aim to keep the two ‘spheres’ separate within Red Paddle Co products, so that at their ‘end of life’ they are more easily recoverable.

They apply this thinking to a number of their products such as the Titan pump, fins and recyclable packaging.

Packaging and production

Red Paddle Co’s in-house team of designers are constantly evolving how they approach production and design to reduce waste, adhesives and dyes.

One of their first projects was to remove glue from the packaging and utilise mechanical fastenings. As a second iteration, they wanted to try and make the packaging completely compostable by looking into grown packaging, soy-based inks and corn starch PE replacements. This year Red Paddle Co are aiming to replace the plastic packaging of all their paddles and leashes for sustainable alternatives also.

While they are not quite there yet, the changes that they have made, have pushed them ever closer to their goal of 100% compostable packaging.

Red Paddle Co’s board production facility is now 100% waste free, their paper and card packaging is 100% recyclable and they have also educated their suppliers about circular economy and are making a genuine difference with the products brought to the market

What happens next?

The area Red Paddle Co always emphasise in their design process is “what happens next?” When making their products in pure material, they are able to guarantee that at the end of their current state, they can be more easily recovered in the future, ready for their next application.

This allows Red to be really accurate when it comes to material selection. If the material they want doesn’t quite fit, they can modify the form to compensate so they can use it.

When it is not possible to use pure materials, they have to use composites. All of their boards are made primarily from composite materials, however in order to be more responsible Red Paddle Co make these boards last as long as possible. And Red Paddle Co boards are designed to last.

Built to last

Every board Red makes is produced in their private facility using a unique manufacturing process and it takes an average of 72 hours to create each paddle board. Using their MSL™ pressure lamination, Red Paddle Co boards offer the very best in reliability and durability, resulting in warranty rates of just 0.5% globally – that’s equivalent to the aerospace industry – which means Red Paddle Co boards are out there being put to the test and are lasting a long time!

Click for more on the 2020 Red Paddle Co range, or head here for all Red Paddle Co boards in stock.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.