Photo by Jordan Pay
Sustainability Is Performance
While there is a case to be made that this sentiment is changing, there is no doubt there remains a (false) belief that products made sustainably or ethically are inferior in quality and performance. This thinking is prevalent across every industry and it is something all of us who build products in this manner feel.
WNDR Alpine was founded with a healthy awareness for this fact and they made it a goal to flat out disprove it. They develop backcountry skis, snowboards, splitboards, and other outdoor products that perform better because of the renewably sourced materials they contain.
Since March happens to be “B Corp Month” we thought it was a great time to introduce you to their work and feature our apparel partnership as a fellow B Corp.
Get to know more about WNDR Alpine in the following interview…
How is WNDR Alpine bringing innovation & sustainability to snow sports?
As the snowsports-focused wing of advanced materials company Checkerspot, we have access to a cutting edge materials development platform that allows us to utilize oil derived from microalgae to produce our materials. Not only does this unique biobased resource minimize our reliance on petroleum – it also gives us greater control over the design of the materials going into our products. For the first time in our careers, we are able to engineer our materials specifically around the performance demands of the product we’re building.
Since launching in 2019, we’ve released skis with Algal Core – a laminate of domestically sourced aspen with our algae-derived high density polyurethane foam. Since then, we released Algal Wall, a biobased cast PU sidewall that delivers better damping properties than conventional petroleum-based sidewalls (think less vibration and better stability when you’re pushing your skis hard).
We’re continuing to innovate to get higher biobased content in our products, and to incorporate repurposed waste materials into products, thereby diverting manufacturing waste from the landfill. Additionally, we’re in the process of sharing our technology with other brands in the snowsports space. Access to these materials will never be exclusive. Our growing community of innovators is dedicated to creating positive systemic impact.
How has this winter compared to other recent ski seasons?
In Utah where we produce all of our products, we’ve already gotten plenty of powder skiing in! That said, we’re currently in the middle of a long high pressure spell. So we’re using this lack of storms as an opportunity to ascend high into the alpine and access ski steep terrain that otherwise would be unsafe to reach until Spring. There’s plenty of great riding available if you can get there. That’s the beauty of backcountry skiing and snowboarding – you move on your own two feet, stay aware of hazards and conditions, and move in harmony with what the mountains are doing.
Why did the team choose to create merchandise with KNOWN SUPPLY?
As a B Corp™, we always seek to align ourselves with other mission driven brands and suppliers, regardless of their industry. We must be considerate of not only what our own practices are internally, but also of the practices many steps removed down our entire supply chain. So when it came time to expand our apparel offerings, KNOWN SUPPLY immediately became a clear choice, not only for their certification as a fellow B Corp™, but for their human-first, transparent approach to communication.
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