Overconsumption and the inevitable disposal of unwanted clothing and equipment has become our global problem. As outsiders, we need to help one another to waste less and ensure our garments and equipment have a longer life-span, which in turn can help to slow the pace of solid waste growth. For this to happen, a systemic change in business practice and consumer behaviour is required.
I never wanted to be a campaigner, but I have always been a maker. After a serious back injury ended my snowboard career, a new perspective was born through the trauma of this accident. The importance of a regular connection with nature; movement for good health and well-being; and to share knowledge that benefits the many and not just the few. I believe in people of the outdoor community to follow their passion for their active pursuits whilst doing better for people and planet. That means greater resourcefulness and innovative ways to connect and share not only the equipment that we use, but the expert knowledge we have to do it.
As outsiders, we can do our bit, but we could do a much better job of addressing our consumption through collective organization. We could simply consume less and share more. The Oütlas Waste Manifesto stands to fight for this. We should change how we understand our gear. A way out is to stop purchasing and owning the specialist outerwear and equipment. Instead of buying the snowboard itself, why don’t you consider buying the service it provides?
We believe in a fair exchange between producer and consumer - one that favours contribution and engagement, one that sees into the future and gives us the system to choose. We have the opportunity to use technology to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis. We don’t just need to build the best products but also the best experiences in which this gear is used. To reduce industrial harm and waste requires a coordinated circular economy between producer and consumer. As independent riders, outsiders and guides, we are shaped by the decisions made by others and the decisions we make have consequences within this cycle. The rising cost of energy, waste and its disposal. The scarcity of water.The time is now to repair, sell, swap! Grow a maker generation for the outdoors from the ground-up. A community for safe and responsible active pursuits backed by the equipment specialists you rely on, who are investing in your happiness and a greener planet.
So, this is a call to arms, but the arms are the bindings, the boots, the shred sticks, the spares that exist for all of us to renew and reuse. Turn old into new. Together, let’s create an industry in which we test, build, innovate, re-create, and learn to keep this gear in action for longer.
Make more with less. Travel lighter. Ride more. With enough of us around the globe, we'll not just send a strong message on climate action, resourcefulness and the power of shared knowledge: but we will make the old system a thing of the past. Will you join us?