The Foundation Room is an ongoing blog by co-founder, Bob Carlson about the Company’s commitment to sustainable boardsports design.
Here we go, my first attempt at a blog. For a while now, the marketing crew has been asking me to talk about Arbor's 15-year commitment to creating rider-oriented products that are friendlier on the environment to produce. They're hoping I can tell some of the stories behind our mission to deliver quality, performance, and style with significantly reduced environmental impact. I hope they know what they're doing." Anyhow, I thought for this opener I would provide a little background on our environmental philosophy and how it drives our vision of the Arbor brand. Some of you may have read a bit of this before, but I think it's worth touching on before we dive into specific initiatives, events, etc. To begin, it was time spent riding that provided the motivation. The reality of protecting this planet for us is saving the environments enjoyed by people who ride. In the end - we all need clean air to skate, clean water to surf, and snow to ride. [nggallery id=72] Frankly, we came to the conclusion that companies that profit from a use of the environment should, at least strive to do no harm to the planet, and at best work to help repair the damage done. To that end, we founded Arbor in 1995 to take a more responsible approach to the development and production on boardsports equipment and apparel. Arbor works to replace as many environmentally harmful materials as possible, across our complete line of snowboards, skateboards, and apparel, with functional, ecologically based alternatives. We also donate at least 5% of profits to groups working to restore and protect the environment. It is important to note that as of right now, it's not possible to deliver 100% "green" boardsports products. Reality is about taking as many steps as possible towards that future. Those steps are what drive the Arbor Collective. The funny thing is that we're not into being "green" just for the sake of being green. With fifteen years of sustainable design experience under our belts, we're sure about one thing; people expect performance and relevance, even when choosing a more environmentally friendly alternative. So, you can expect us to continue our efforts to combine the latest technology and most powerful art with those eco-materials that allow us deliver better performing products - form still follows function. I think it's also important to mention that we see the face of environmentalism changing. A range of perspectives has replaced the movement "hippy" past. Today, the hardest kid you know can be eco-minded at his or her core. Arbor sees this as a critical change if respecting the environment is to remain relevant for the next generation. You don't have to broadcast it to live it - it's not about identity - it's about values. OK, there's a little background on how we approach the environment and its relevance to our design efforts and the brand. I appreciate your interest in what were doing and look forward to talking in more detail as this blog evolves. I think you'll find the story behind the materials, methods, suppliers, and environmental groups that we're working with or supporting to be pretty cool. I also hope to introduce you to some of the people I work with here at Arbor and give you a little insight into what they add to the collective. In my next post, I will be covering the group "True Offsets" who Arbor has been supporting for the last two years. I will be talking about their efforts to restore forest lands in Hawaii and establish a real, measurable carbon offset program. More to come, Bob Carlson