Envirosurfer is an online surf shop that specializes in eco-friendly surf accessories, such as apparel, footwear, fins, and wetsuits. In an interview with Brandon Moyles, the owner of Envirosurfer Online Surf Shop, he explains how sources and markets his eco-friendly surf products.
How do you market eco-friendly surf products?
With the surf industry embodied in an image closely tied to nature and the environment, it’s shocking to many that the materials used during the production of 99% of surf products, would make even the heartiest of environmental opponents cringe. That being said, it’s not as though surfers enjoy or are content with turning a blind eye to materials that play a huge role in damaging the waves they enjoy. It comes down to one selfish factor: Performance.
With this in mind, we highlight the fact that all of the products on our online surf shop are more eco-friendly than the products they’ll find elsewhere on the market. But at the same time, we’re not willing to sacrifice quality and performance either. We really push the fact that the environmentally friendly practices used in creating the products we sell have come a long way and the performance is now there, so there is no sacrifice in performance any longer.
What is the sustainability criteria?
Going beyond the claims that various surf companies are making when they say a line is eco-friendly is extremely important. Each company will define that in their own terms, so it’s key to set up your own criteria. All products will have spec sheets that list the exact materials used to create it. It comes down to little things: If their using recycled car tire for the soles of the shoes, where is the factory they’re getting the tires from? What is the carbon footprint that goes into the production of that item? When they claim recycled, what percentage is actually recycled material? These are the important factors to consider before making the product available to your customer.
How do you get the word out?
I think the biggest way to get the word out is to be an active participant in the community you’re trying to reach. If I didn’t surf, there would be no way of reaching other surfers. Play an active role in your niche’s community and participate! Another great way of doing this is by participating in blogs that are dealing with your niche. Don’t just post a few comments, but really participate and be a frequent poster.
What 3 tips do you have for other green business owners?
- Visualize your customer when speaking to them. This goes into everything from email responses, sales copy, customer service over the phone, etc. How would you want to be treated and what is the image you want them to take away from your company.
- Don’t green wash your marketing. At some point the product/service you’re selling will need to perform and the customer will go beyond your product just being eco-friendly. Make sure the products/services your offering can stand up to the competition when placed head-to-head.
- Research how eco-friendly the products your supplier is offering, actually is. Develop your own criteria and decide where to draw the line.
All products carried by Envirosurfer have to meet the shop’s sustainability criteria on materials and production, including their wetsuits. The truth is, we are a long ways off from a bona fide “green” wetsuit, however, Matuse and Patagonia seek to lesson the environmental impact of their wetsuits by using Geoprene, limestone derived neoprene instead of the conventional petroleum based rubber. While Envirosurfer doesn’t stock surf boards yet, due to their strict green guidelines, they hope to identify an eco-friendly surf board soon.
Envirosurfer is a green surf shop that carries eco-friendly surf clothing and products.