June 11, 2021

Wyve in the economic and ecological transition

1.7 Planets.

That's what we would need to continue living the way we do today. Quite a significant number to get aware of the impact of human activities on the planet, isn't it?

For several years, we have been witnessing and contributing to a social and environmental disruption. Faced with numerous environmental challenges, we are progressively changing our consumption habits. Previously perceived as weak signals, these social and environmental changes are turning into strong signals. Facing this, the economy must transmit these signals and, most of all, transform itself. More than ever, resilience is the key word for our society.

Reconciling economy and ecology

The term ecosystem is usually used to refer to nature. By definition, an ecosystem is a group of living beings interacting with their environment. The components of the ecosystem develop a dense network of connections, exchanges of energy, information and matter allowing the preservation and development of life. All ecosystems, if they remain intact, can regenerate themselves.

We often have the impression that economy and ecology cannot go together. However, making the economy work like an ecosystem would allow us to reconcile the short term with the long term. Yvon Chouinard, founder of the iconic brand Patagonia, sees his company as an ecosystem : “A problem anywhere in the system eventually affects the whole, and this gives everyone an overriding responsibility to the health of the whole organism. It also means that anyone, [...],inside the company or out, can contribute significantly to the health of the company and to the integrity and value of our products.” (Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, Yvon Chouinard, 2005).

Finding a balance, a collective harmony, can bring more autonomy and resilience while ensuring the profitability of the company.

Companies' role in this transformation

For years, companies have had a linear business model: extract raw materials, transform them, produce and create waste and pollution. Today, it is necessary to create an economy that is able to give back more than it takes. It is no longer enough to reduce the negative impact, we must increase the positive impact. This is what we call the circular economy. More equitable, fairer and low in raw materials, the circular economy creates a new dynamic. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, defined in 2015 in the Agenda 2030 by the 193 member states of the United Nations, guide companies to move towards this less destructive economy.

What about Wyve?

Unlike bigger companies with long-established operating procedures, Wyve, as a start-up, has a real advantage: starting from scratch. So we decided to adopt a circular economy approach.

To do this, we totally rethought the value chain of traditional surfboards by getting more local, more collaborative, and more bio-inspired.

This means:

Having a vision, a mission and a reason for being allows us to guide us and remind us why we get up each morning:

Our raison d’être : Wyve wants to improve every surfer's performance and pleasure by reconnecting surfers with their practice and values: humility, ambition, eco-responsibility, transparency. We are here to lead boardsports towards technical and environmental excellence.

Our vision : We truly believe that helping surfers to reach their goals will make them grateful and responsible for what and who surrounds them. We are convinced that surfing is so iconic that changing this industry will inspire other industries.

Our mission : We are gathering the best parts of technology and craftsmanship to provide surfers with the most innovative products and the best user experience, while minimizing our impact on the environment.

Sylvain Fleury, co-founder of Wyve, talks about the practical application of 3 sustainability goals that Wyve is focusing on :

  1. Responsible consumption and production
  2. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  3. Decent work and economic growth

We are all connected to each other and to the economy. The collective and the individual have a mutual influence. Consumers, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens... also have a role to play in creating this regenerative economy, in addition to businesses and politicians.

We are not perfect. We still have a long way to go. But we are trying, in our own way, to participate in this economic and ecological transition and to inspire the surf industry.

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