COP27 : a greener outdoor industry

So, COP27. Twelve months since COP26, when nations adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact, aiming to turn the 2020s into a decade of climate action and support.

Members of the Re-Action Collective are working to do exactly that within the active outdoor industry, based on our manifesto of principles supporting a greener future for our planet.

WhoSki.com is an active member of the Re-Action group. You can read the manifesto below.

As COP 26 President Alok Sharma says: “It is critical that we do everything within our means to keep 1.5C in reach, as we promised in the Glasgow Climate Pact.”

Every action that we as an industry and as individuals can take is another step towards a more sustainable future.

The Re-Action Collective Manifesto

Re-Action says:

👉 We cannot continue to consume products in the way we are doing today.

🌱 Our manifesto represents system change. A change towards better maintenance of our kit, a change towards repair, reuse, rental, repurpose and a desire to find other circular solutions that will keep us playing in the outdoors.

🌿 Join us!

👉 As an individual, pledge to buy once, and buy well. Maintain and repair your gear, donate or resell it responsibly once you have finished with it. Support a Re-Action member.

👉 As a business, open conversations with your suppliers, introduce a second-hand rail, find a way to provide repair services to your customers, offer rental, identify and reduce waste

Sell your ski clothes in five simple steps

Embrace the re-sale vibe and sell on your no longer needed ski clothing. It’s simple with WhoSki.com. Here’s how:

Step 1: Clear out your SKI wardrobe

Motivate yourself for a ski closet clear-out by remembering that selling it on helps keep it out of landfill: you are doing the environment a favour. Plus you’re helping monetise your wardrobe – and keeping skiing affordable. Ski and snowboard clothes are hardwearing, so perfect for re-use and re-sale.

Step 2: Make sure your ski clothes are clean and in tip-top condition

Wash any items if needed and check for wear and tear so your buyer knows exactly what to expect. Better condition items will likely fetch a higher price. Any damage? Pay your local sewing repair shop a visit. You may be surprised what wonders they can work on a frayed salopette hem, dodgy ski jacket zip or gaping seam.

Step 3: Photograph and upload

When snapping your ski clothing, keep the background plain, photograph from front and back, capture details and highlight any damage / marks etc. Read more selling tips here.

Register at WhoSki.com (super-simple via any device: phone, tablet or PC), upload details of the ski clothes you are selling along with fixed price and images, and post for sale. It’s easy to edit the info afterwards so don’t worry if you make a mistake.

Top tip – make the first photo of your item ‘landscape’ as it fits better on the WhoSki.com shop homepage.

Step 4: Watch your ski clothes sell!

Secondhand clothing does not always sell immediately – although WhoSki.com does enjoy some instant sales, especially at peak ski season. Be patient and wait for the right buyer to come along. Share a link to your post on social media to help attract buyers – and remember to celebrate your sale. Remember too: at WhoSki.com we donate 25% of our commission to charity on every item sold.

Step 5: Wrap and post it

Delight your customer with a swift response by getting their ski clothes delivered as quickly as you can. Re-use packaging where possible; turn an old delivery bag inside out, recycle a tough paper bag, and think about using strong paper tape rather than plastic.

Keep your customer informed via the WhoSki.com private messaging system (and hang on to your postal receipt to track your item’s progress).

ANd that’s it: simple!

Let us know how you get on – are you happy with the process? How much money have you made on your good-as-new ski clothing – or how much have you saved by buying secondhand? Drop us an email with your comments.

Register at WhoSki.com to buy and sell, PLUS – coming soon! – receive updates about latest ski clothes that go on sale so you won’t miss out on the best pre-loved piste wear.

Is the snowsports industry ready for a sustainable future?

As Sally hurtled off to the Mountain Trade Network‘s autumn LISTEX conference at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead last week, delegates were revving up for a debate on how the snowsports industry is waking up to sustainable options for the future.

The panel covered a range of topics including ski and snowboard clothing, climate change, aiming for net zero, and what seems to always be the most contentious item for the wintersports industry: the transport you use to get to your ski resort.

Sally’s top learnings from the debate:

1 Switzerland has a transparent approach to sustainability

Ski giant Switzerland has opted for an umbrella approach to sustainability, providing resorts, hotels and other key snow sports businesses with clear directives on how to develop their green credentials.

For visitors it’s easy to understand, as businesses will be awarded three level ‘badges’: Level 3 – Leading; Level 2 – Engaged; and Level 1 – Committed. It is a simple way to judge how far down the sustainability route a Swiss business, service provider or destination has travelled.

2 You can’t do everything immediately, so aim for manageable targets en route to net zero

It can be all-consuming trying to do everything at once, so a business aiming for net zero should break down its actions into manageable, achievable goals. Charlie Cotton from ecollective calls this the ‘7% rule’, whereby you make regular 7% improvements on the road to net zero.

Extra good news: HotelPlan, which owns ski holiday brands including Inghams and Esprit, has signed up to reach net zero: a big shout out to them.

3 Climate change is affecting resorts already

According to University of Surrey sustainability PhD student Harry Rice, there is growing concern over the impact of increasing temperatures on lower snowsports resorts, the pressure climate change will put on higher resorts and the impact of increased temperatures on the slopes.

Ski resorts are starting to look at how they adapt to this change, weighing up social and economic progress and how the adaptations could impact more heavily on the mountain environment.

4 More of us are driving to the slopes (and it’s easy by EV…)

James Gambrill from the Ski Club of Great Britain presented figures showing that post-pandemic more of us have driven to the mountains.

Reasons for this are unclear, however. Is it because of an increase in airline flight cancellations, passenger worries about catching Covid, price hikes or are we starting to think ‘greener’ in our travel choices?

On a positive note, the ease of driving an EV to the ski slopes is aided by improved EV charging facilities through France.

5 Young people positively embrace BUYING secondhand ski CLOTHES

It is estimated that 64% of young people prefer to buy secondhand clothes. Not just because they are more affordable, but also for the bragging rights: pre-loved fashion is very much on trend and growing across the market.

It’s time to feed that demand. Clear out your ski clothes from your wardrobe. List them for sale (at WhoSki.com, obviously). Lend them, mend them, re-use or re-sell them. Just make sure you don’t allow your ski jackets, ski pants and salopettes to end up in landfill.

Fact: ski textiles are likely to be around long after many of us have stopped skiing. 

Expert panel

The eclectic panel of international speakers at LISTEX included Charlie Cotton from travel consultancy ecollective, Myriam Ziesack of the Swiss tourist board which runs Swisstainable, Harry Rice, climate change and sustainability PhD student, our own Sally Warren, co-founder of WhoSki.com, and Iain Martin of SkiFlightFree.

LISTEX, the London International Ski Trade Exchange, is a B2B event that brings together many of the movers and shakers in the snowsports world, from industry leaders to independent specialists.

Thank you to The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead, for hosting and Babsi Lapwood of the Mountain Trade Network for organising.

Can skiing come back greener?

Most of us have come to the terms with the fact we’re not going to be skiing or ‘boarding this season, and are instead looking ahead to 2021/22 for our return to the piste. This enforced hiatus is the perfect time to consider the carbon footprint of your trip to the slopes. WhoSki.com founder Sally Warren shares her thoughts:

“When my WhoSki.com co-founder Nicola and I embarked on our green ski-clothes journey I don’t think either of us were aware quite what a commitment to the #SkiGreen movement there already was within the wintersports sector.

“In fact, the eco snowsports industry encompasses an extensive range of start-ups, SMEs, policy makers, academics and long-term successful businesses, already making their mark to push the #SkiGreen agenda.

Focus on sustainability

“Since Lockdown1.0 in spring 2020, when the ski and snowboard industry essentially shut down overnight, energies have been poured into a focus on sustainability. And they – we! – are starting to make real headway. Late last year, SATI (the Sustainable Alpine Tourism Initiative) organised a series of thought-provoking digital seminars covering decarbonisation, the circular economy, progressing sustainability in tourism and sustainable development. I was lucky enough to be a panellist.

“These seminars have achieved a lot. They assembled movers and shakers in the wintersports industry in the same (virtual) room to discuss what they are doing. They highlighted the barriers speakers had come up against, the tourism psychology of choice and how businesses can become more transparent about their environmental credentials. They provided practical expertise for businesses and consumers and helped us develop a common purpose, about taking steps to reduce carbon footprint.

“Barriers highlighted included:

  • government non-commitment (we certainly see that regarding the circular economy in the fashion industry),
  • no industry-wide green ‘kite mark’ or ‘accreditation’,
  • lack of transparency by some businesses for consumers
  • the rise in temperatures and its impact on mountains.

Industry acts on wintersports clothing

“Ski fashion finds it difficult to get ski gear recycled within Europe; Japan is one of the few countries where this can be done, yet transporting clothing to the other side of the world is no eco-solution for European businesses.

“There has however been real innovation. New materials for ski clothing now frequently incorporate recycled plastic, and some are starting to revise designs to minimise the environmental impact of clothing. Incorporating fewer zips is one simple way that helps make it easier to recycle clothing, for example.

Inform yourself

“It’s definitely getting easier for consumers to find out more information (check our blog here) but how do you as a skier or snowboarder make that jump, that commitment to reducing your impact on the environment?

“A recurring point made by numerous SATI participants, was the need for governments to legislate. The wintersports sector is increasingly calling for a courageous green commitment at resort level, national and European levels.

“What I got from attending SATI’s online events, is that we all want to see visitors enjoying the mountains. But at the same time, it is essential that we reduce and minimise the impact of our visits on the environment.

“This covers simple choices ranging from the building you stay in, how you travel there, which resort you choose and the clothes you wear. All make a difference.

Make the right eco choices

“Alpine tourism tends to attract more affluent visitors: people who can afford to make a conscious change in their buying behaviours and make environmentally-friendly choices when visiting the mountains.

“Meanwhile, industry needs funding to raise consumer awareness, to guide them through change on the greener mountain futures. Large holiday providers must work harder to communicate how their clients can #SkiGreen, and what they are doing to promote sustainability. Their actions should not simply consist of ‘offsetting’.

“It is apparent that the Alpine sports tourism industry is undergoing – and driving – change. While there is a long journey ahead, these passionate business leaders are going to be the industry’s strong collective voice – so keep your eyes peeled as the #SkiGreen campaign gathers pace.

“Finally, I’d like to thank Sarisher Mann from SATI for doing such a great job in getting the 2020 programme up and running, questioning us and our goals and getting us together. We look forward to SATI 2021.”