What happens to gear you no longer use? Is there any use left for those worn-out shoes or that faded jacket? Surprisingly, stuff that may seem trash may actually have some life left. Little research has been done on this however. Until now that is. A new programme called Explore Red (Re-Use, Explore, Discover) has been set-up to research old gear and promote stuff that is still functional. Created and run by Don Gladstone, who has been involved with the outdoor industry for many years and who came up with the idea whilst paddling down the River Spey in Scotland, Explore RED will look at everything from people’s expectations of products to the social and commercial value of well-used items. The research is being carried out in collaboration with Leeds and Lancaster Universities.
Initially Explore RED is looking at consumers views and there’s a short survey on the website. Fill it in and you could win some outdoor gear from Rab and Teko! Then you have to decide what to do with your old gear ……
Gear that really is beyond use (as the shoes in the picture probably are as the sole unit has split) can sometimes be recycled but finding out about this can be difficult. The European Outdoor Group (EOG) Sustainability Working Group has been working on this and news will be released at the forthcoming Outdoor show in Friedrichshafen, which I will be attending.
Reusing unwanted gear and recycling gear that really is beyond use are both good ideas but require information, encouragement and a quick and easy way of doing so is needed if they are to be taken up by many people. Hopefully, these initiatives will result in this.