Earth Day: 4 Sustainable Paddling Brands You Should Know

Earth Day is a reminder for all of us to appreciate and protect the environment. For paddlers, the viability of water sports goes hand in hand with a need to preserve nature. It’s wise to seek ways to help keep waterways clean and enjoy them with minimal impact.

This Earth Day, we’re saluting the companies that understand the connection between the environment and the joys of paddling. These four sustainable paddling brands are leading the way in producing earth-friendly paddling and outdoor gear, ensuring that your nautical escapades are as kind to the planet as they are thrilling. Here’s a deep dive into what makes them stand out on the water and in sustainability.

1. GILI Sports: Inflatable SUPs with a Heart for Health

GILI Sports has gained a reputation among the paddling community for creating inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs) that offer the rigidity of a hard board coupled with the convenience of an inflatable model. But GILI doesn’t just stand out on performance, their commitment to sustainability is front and center.

The company was founded on the principle of protecting the ocean (and the life within it, with a focus on turtles). The company actively participates in beach clean-up initiatives, donating a portion of sales to various organizations that support marine conservation efforts. GILI sells direct to the consumer, cutting out the middleman and unnecessary CO2 emissions.

With a vast range of boards tailored to various skill levels and applications, from yoga and fishing to all-around cruising, GILI ensures there is a paddleboard for everyone without harming the natural world – making the one of our favorite sustainable paddling brands.

2. Immersion Research: Pioneers in Paddling Apparel

Immersion Research (IR) came to life in the 90s out of a love for paddling and a desire to wear gear that actually worked. Today, IR continues to innovate, not just in design and function, but in environmental stewardship.

Their dry suits, paddle jackets, and shorts are top-of-the-line for rafts and kayaks and boast materials that are bluesign® certified for environmental friendliness. For example, using scrap tires and limestone (rather than petrochemicals) to make their neoprene. They also use recycled water bottles to manufacture dry suits and tops.

IR’s approach extends beyond its products. They’re known for their efforts in river conservation and clean water initiatives, and use solar power to generate energy at their headquarters. Their environmental friendliness even extends to their packaging and shipping, where they reuse bags and boxes to reduce waste.

IR encourages paddlers to actively engage in policy and activism that protects our waterways. They want to ensure that the rivers and oceans they love remain clean and accessible for all and set a good example for other brands to follow in their footsteps.

3. Prijon: The German Craftsmen of Kayaks

Prijon is a leading name in kayak manufacturing, delivering sturdy and high-performance boats for 60+ years. What sets Prijon apart is its production process, materials, and commitment to reducing waste by keeping production local.

Prijon kayaks are synonymous with durability, thanks to their unique HTP plastic. HTP is a recyclable material that ensures a long life for each kayak and significantly reduces waste in the manufacturing process. Priding themselves on every Prijon kayak being handcrafted in the Allgäu, they maintain a standard of quality and responsibility throughout their production. They use a photovoltaic energy system on the roof of their warehouse to cut down on CO2 pollution.

Prijon doesn’t just sell kayaks; they sell a sustainable embodiment of a passion for paddling. Their boats aren’t disposable, and their loyalty to the environment over half a century speaks volumes about their dedication to sustainability.

4. Johnson Outdoors: A Waterbound Powerhouse

Johnson Outdoors comprises a family of brands that cater to a diverse realm of outdoor enthusiasts. From Old Town canoes to Ocean Kayaks, their lineup caters to virtually every type of paddler. The company is on the cutting edge of environmental responsibility, aiming for sustainability through its operations and products.

Johnson Outdoors invests in renewable energy. They also offer various boat materials, from recycled aluminum to sorona fabric (derived from renewable resources). Their commitment to minimizing their ecological footprint extends to volunteer programs that clean waterways around the world, alongside their sponsorship of eco-friendly paddling events. This company also partners with the National Wildlife Federation. They empower people to work toward building a “litter-free planet” by way of a litter cleanup tracking app, Litterati. The company also sponsors several litter cleanup events that extend from beaches to oceans to forests.

Paddle With a Purpose

Paddling isn’t just a sport, it’s a communion with nature. The gentle lapping of waves against your boat can serve as a reminder of the serenity that’s worth preserving. On this Earth Day, consider these sustainable paddling brands not just as providers of equipment, but as allies in your quest to make a difference. By choosing gear that echoes the call of the waterways, you’re embodying the essence of environmental adventurism.

In the spirit of sustainability, research your future gear purchases with the same enthusiasm you have for your sport. Support the companies that support our world. Together we can paddle towards a greener, cleaner future. Happy paddling!


1 thought on “Earth Day: 4 Sustainable Paddling Brands You Should Know”

  1. One of the biggest reasons I chose a Gili SUP was because of their dedication and commitment to sustainability! I need to check out these other brands too 🙂 Love this . Such an important day and an important topic.

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