22/11/2007 | by Onboard
Arbor’s long-standing assertion is that solutions to many of today’s most difficult snow, skate, and apparel design challenges exist in the natural world. Since 1995, we’ve built Arbor around this belief – replacing, environmentally harmful materials with ecologically based, natural alternatives. The goal is to create a higher level of function and relevance, in the most responsible way possible. The result has been improved style and performance, with significantly reduced environmental impact.
Through it all, Arbor has remained a rider owned and operated company. After 12 years of hard work developing and distributing the greener option – we’re proud to be known as the pioneer of ecologically-driven, rider-oriented design. In the end, it is our unique approach that has allowed Arbor to develop an independent voice and arrive at today’s fusion of green innovation and expanded environmental awareness.
As we look to the future – a commitment to the original mission will continue to drive the brand: develop products using the conscious approach to design that has defined the Arbor tradition; always source the most sustainable materials, improving our products without damaging the environment; donate to groups working to protect and restore the planet.
On the following tabs you will find a list of the environmentally friendly materials and practices that Arbor has developed and/or implemented over the years, and currently employ.
NATURAL WOOD VENEER as topsheet material: (Abacus, Element, A-Frame, Crossbow, Wasteland, Cadence) or inlay material (Draft)
Eco Story: All of the wood materials used to produce Arbor’s exclusive wood top and inlay technologies are accessed from suppliers who produce their wood products sustainably.
Additional benefits: The natural variance of real wood grain creates a unique, one-of-a-kind look. In addition, during construction the dense wood fibers are locked in place by resin, creating a composite element that structurally enhances a board – providing customers with added return, resilience, and weight reduction. This active component works like a 3rd layer of fiberglass in our full wood-topped boards. In contrast, the Draft’s, “shaped” inlay tunes the flex to meet the needs of JIB specific riding – a “Butter-Beam” that provides customers with improved longitudinal pop, while allowing for a progressively softer torsional flex toward the tip and tail. This application is similar to how carbon fiber is used – targeting to affect specific zones within a boards flex pattern.
NATURAL BAMBOO VENEER as topsheet material:( ALT, Roundhouse, Push)
SOLID BAMBOO as core material: (Mystic, Westmark)
Eco Story: Bamboo is a remarkably sustainable resource that is naturally organic, requiring zero pesticides, chemical fertilizers, irrigation, or detrimental cultivation and harvesting practices to grow in an incredibly fast, self propagating manner that makes it also the most renewable material available today.
Additinal benefits: Our Bamboo topsheets create a clean, Zen flavor. In addition, during construction the dense bamboo fibers are locked in place by resin, creating a composite element that structurally enhances a board – providing customers with added return, resilience, and weight reduction. This active component can be looked at as working like a 3rd layer of fiberglass in our full bamboo-topped boards.
Bamboo is one of the strongest materials known to man. It provides 40x the effective life of carbon fiber and 60% more return than traditional materials, with a tensile strength that is superior to steel, based on weight. We use solid bamboo in our high-end freestyle boards as a core-reinforcing element to provided customers with radically improved power and durability.
SINTRUDED POLY-ETHYLENE as base material: (Cadence, Draft, Westmark)
Eco story: Made by extruding the remnant material that is leftover from the production of sintered bases into a new type of base material, rather than throwing this petroleum-based waste into land fills.
Additional benefits: Provides customers with some of the best of both worlds – the user friendly properties of Extruded Bases, and the durability and speed qualities of Sintered Bases.
HARDROCK MAPLE: for base plys (the complete line)
Eco story: All of the Hardrock Maple used in Arbor’s skate line is accessed from suppliers who produce their wood products sustainably.
Additional benefits: Hardrock Maple still provides customers with the best combination of lighter-weight performance and durability; with a workability that permits our affordable price point.
NATURAL WOOD VENEER as finish ply (All Hawaiian Koa Decks)
Eco story: All of the timber used to produce our Hawaiian Koa finish plys is purchased from landowners who use sustainable harvesting practices and work with the State of Hawaii to manage their land in a manner designed to actually improve Koa forest ecology.
Additional benefits: The natural variance of Koa wood provides customers with a custom, one-of-a-kind grain pattern on each and every skate. Koa also adds heritage – it was originally used by the Hawaiians 1,000 years ago to build the first surfboards. In addition, Koa’s dense natural fibers add structure for enhanced durability.
BAMBOO used for Power ply (All Bamboo Decks)
Eco story: A remarkably sustainable resource that is naturally organic, requiring no pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, or detrimental cultivation and harvesting practices to grow in an incredibly fast, self-propagating way that makes it today’s most renewable material.
Additional benefits: Bamboo creates a clean, Zen flavor that sometimes overshadows the fact that bamboo is one of the strongest materials known to man. It provides 40x the effective life of carbon fiber and 60% more return than traditional materials, with a tensile strength superior to steel. By adding it as a power-generating deck-side ply we give customers improved return and lasting durability.
POST PRODUCTION REMNANT WOOD MATERIALS
Eco story: Reclaimed – this material goes to companies that turn it into other wood products. Stretching this resource, which reduces the strain on timber lands, while keeping the by-products of skate production out of land fills.
BAMBOO FABRIC is the principal fabric used in our apparrel line.
Eco story: A remarkably sustainable resource that is naturally organic, requiring no pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, or detrimental cultivation and harvesting practices to grow in an incredibly fast, self-propagating way that makes it today’s most renewable fiber.
Additional benefits: Technically superior to other natural fabrics. Bamboo is amazingly soft. It’s more breathable, better at wicking perspiration, and provides superior UV protection, all of which help regulate body temperature. Bamboo is Hypoallergenic, with natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties that eliminate the need for additives, reducing skin irritations, odor, and underarm discoloration.
ORGANIC COTTON Blended with Bamboo and Used in a few Non-Bamboo Based Pieces.
Eco story: Organically produced with no pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, or detrimental cultivation and harvesting practices including: aerial spraying, genetically modified seeds, and defoliators.
Additional benefits: Blended with bamboo as a stabilizer. Blending also helps us deliver bamboo’s benefits more affordably. As with bamboo, organic cotton is an important alternative to conventional cotton, the most toxic crop grown today. Conventional cotton farming uses over two billion pounds of synthetic pesticides a year, and accounts for 25% of the world’s total insecticide use.
DYES AND INKS on the whole apparrel line.
Eco story: All of our apparel is made with low impact reactive dyes. We have also just about reached a total reliance on more environmentally friendly, water-based inks.
REMNANT WOOD VENEER for accessories and POP.
Eco story: Reclaimed – this material goes into other Arbor products, stretching this resource, which reduces the strain on timber lands, while keeping the by-products of skate and snowboard topsheet production out of land fills.
Additional benefits: The ability to get Arbor’s natural look, feel, and message on additional products. The remnant wood and bamboo veneer is used as belt buckle inlays, wood accents on hats and hang tags, and in zipper pulls and snaps.
We donate to groups working to protect and restore the planet. Last year we gave 5% of our profits to the Nature Conservancy’s Hawaiian-based efforts. We’ve also supported: The Surfrider Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, & American Forests.
PRINTING ON RECYCLED PAPER
We print exclusively on recycled paper stock that is made from 50% pre-consumer fiber and 25% post-consumer fiber.
PRINTING WITH SOY-BASED INKS
Soy inks are much more sustainable to produce. Compared to petroleum based inks, soy inks are better for the environment, especially the air. Soy inks also make our catalogs more biodegradable and easier to recycle.
Arbor’s buys wind credits to completely offset our fossil fuel based electrical needs at our headquarters in Venice, CA.
Check out more on the Arbor homepage