The greenhouse effect is still here and we are seeing the effect of climate change on a daily basis. What can we do about this, to help lessen the continuous impact we are having? I guess the biggest things are to not drive cars with an internal combustion engine. To know where your electricity comes from. To try and install effective solar and wind energy generation on your property, recycle plastics and turn off the lights if you are not in the room.
There are some little things that you can do as well, like thinking where simple things come from. Things that you use in everyday life, like a plastic shopping bag, a plastic bottle that your spring water comes in or (if you are a surfer) petrochemical ingredients in wetsuits, wax and now your leash too.
I have been using my Revolwe leash for about two months now and while it seems ridiculous to say that I like it. I do. It smells great, the cuff feels soft and the whole thing feels like it's made of quality ingredients. But that is only a by-product of what founder and designer Jan was trying to achieve.
Jan Persson has gone out on a limb to create a company that thinks the way you and I should think. He is crossing his environmental T's and dotting the I's in a way that will make a real difference.
As you may know we are keen to expose any kind of 'gimmick' with supposed environmental benefits and at the same time, seek out products and projects with real potential. On first inspection of the Revlowe project, we might be excused into thinking that this is yet another project that is jumping on the 'environmental bandwagon', but that is just not so.
We spoke to Jan who explained that Revolwe was born out of a love for surfing and the desire to make a difference on the impact we, as surfers have on the environment. Revolwe stands for Recycle, Evolution, We, and has launched their first product. The Revolwe leash.
So what makes this leash different?
PET Bottle Recycling - The logos, rail saver and also the leash string all come from recycled PET bottles, approximately 3 bottles go into the production of each leash. The amount of energy that get saved in this process and using these ingredients is approximately equivalent a tenth of a litre of gasoline (petrol).
Yulex - the part of the leash that goes around your ankle or calf is made out of Yulex which is a natural rubber that is sourced via FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sources. It means that the forest has to be sustainably grown and harvested and is irrigated only by ambient rainfall. The process has to protect the social and economic well being of forest dependent communities and is processed with a recycled and recharged water supply aquifer during manufacturing. Not more than 0.5% of natural rubber produced worldwide is done so to these strict a standards.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane - A pretty important part of the leash is the cord which in this case is made out of Thermoplastic Polyurethane with 30% recycled content. This is the maximum that can be achieved while retaining the strength, elasticity and flex capabilities necessary in a high performance leash.
I wanted to see what the real difference was between limestone and Yulex as a base ingredient as some wetsuit manufacturers are playing that green card. It turns out that while limestone is less harmful to the environment than the petrochemicals we are all trying to stay away from, the process of extracting it is not that earth friendly. Limestone has be extracted from the earth with huge diesel engined vehicles, (think a big quarry) and then heated to a tempersture of over 2000 degrees centigrade using a non renewable process. Yulex wins as far as the earth goes.
Right, so our consciences are clear, it's the right thing to do and doing our bit is the whole point, but what is the product like? Does it work? The one thing you want a leash to do is work. As I've said, I got my hands on a couple of them and have been using them for a while now. My findings were not at all surprising.
I've tried a shortboard and a longboard calf leash, both where exemplary and did not disappoint. They feature the usual top of the range features of a keypocket and double swivels, but above and beyond that, they were light for the cord thickness.
I have tested the longboard leash on an big old log made from Volan that really you should not have a leash but something more like a chain, it is that heavy. I took the board out in decent sized surf for a log and there were no issues at all, it was comfortable and functional. I have had the same experience with the shortboard leash and now use them both as part of my everyday equipment.
The two things that I can say about the leashes that sets them apart as a product is firstly the smell of the Yulex is lovely, it's kind of like a natural new smell that lasts for ever and secondly the feel of the cuff on your skin. Without doubt it is the most comfortable leash I have ever used.
Let's not kid ourselves though, you don't buy a leash for comfort, it is essentially a functional and necessary piece of equipment for most of us, but with this new approach to production and sourcing of materials you can be doing your bit for the planet and having fun at the same time.