Severn And Sustainability Go Hand In Hand.
Not only is U.K. based clothing brand Severn a Boogin’ company, it also puts its money where its mouth is in terms substantially. We thought it was high time the boogieverse found out a little more about this awesome brand.
How did Severn begin?
Severn has been an idea going on in the mind of Alex Clark for many a year. An active members of the UK bodyboard community, Alex has been a committee member of the Welsh Bodyboard Club since it formed in 2013. Having run another clothing brand tafia.co.uk in the past, Alex had some knowledge of the industry and its supply chains. For Severn to work though, he wanted it to be doing the right thing from day one.
Alex’s belief was that for Severn to work it would have to give back more than it could take. Not just from the sport of bodyboarding but the planet too. First and foremost the brand could not be driven by profit. It may sound crazy to most but he believes that the product is what drives the business. It means that the product comes first and the business exists to support and create the products. Having finally found the perfect supplier for the project, Alex applied his skills and during lockdown in late 2020 Severn was finally born.
What is the ethos behind the brand?
It is evident that most businesses sell a product or service in order for it grow. Once it has grown to a certain size the business it becomes a product itself for investors and shareholders to buy and sell. When businesses are structured in such a way, the end goal is often short sighted and normally results in someone cashing out. This can lead to inferior products to increase profits, cooking of the books and a confusion as to why the business exists.
Severn’s mission statement clearly sets out its view on profit. It says that we believe in a better world. A place where we give back more than we take. We’re not driven by profit, we’re here to create ethical clothing with designs we love to wear ourselves, whilst being responsible. In our world we exist helping encourage Mother Nature rather than exploit it. Sustainable supply chains are only possible when conscientious shoppers buy the products they want to see in the world.
How does Severn include sustainability in the companies production?
We believe in sustainability that is positive not only in our lives but positive to nature. The answer to sustainability is to be part of a circular supply chain. A pipeline where nothing is wasted. Then when a product has come to the end of its life, it can be made into something new. This is only achievable by using the highest quality materials at the very start. It allows us to recycle and redesign the same raw materials time and time again. This is the future of clothing now.
To be sure that Severn was climate neutral from day one they invested in 40 trees being planted by Mossy Earth, this meant Severn was earth positive before creating a single product. For those unaware Mossy Earth are a team of preservation and conservationists that work to rewild planet earth by restoring ecosystems to support wildlife and biodiversity and as a result fight climate change. Mossy Earth was also Co-Founded by British DK bodyboarder Matt ‘Mave’ Davies, one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. We have now planted over 100 trees with Mossy Earth and sequestered 12,424,600g of CO2 through tree planting. By directing a percentage of profit towards the environment it has meant Severn has been able to support 17 rewilding projects around the globe and with the use of other partners fund the removal of ocean bound plastics.
Can you give us a run down on how your products are made?
All of Severn’s products are made by nature. Only the finest organic cotton is used. Organic cotton is better for the producers and the ecosystem in which it is produced. Instead of more toxic pesticides, fertilisers or plastic, organic farming encourages biodiversity and leads to the extra soft feel of our products. This leads to higher earnings for farmers with better soil quality and water security, with food crops grown on the same soil in the dry season. Less inputs also means less water, but even organic cotton is still a thirsty crop. So where you grow it matters. The fields that grow the organic cotton for our products are in the North of India, where the monsoons fill reservoirs that supply almost all the water needed.
The technology in our circular economy improves all aspects of t-shirt printing. This includes working on lower impact inks, software, machinery and automation technologies.It enables us to make products in real time. At the factory, products are only made after they have been ordered – there is no waste. From this integrated and digitised supply chain, efficiencies are created and the cost savings can be reinvested in the facilities, working conditions and team.
Consequently in the factories on the Isle of Wight, India and Europe, the environment is clean, light, modern and positive as would be expected from any 21st century manufacturer. Production centres are audited for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria and powered by renewable energy.
Clean, renewable energy is a vital tool to reduce the worst effects of climate change. Throughout our supply chain renewable energy is used. In the UK, our supplier own a solar farm and power manufacturing operations with renewables. In India, the factory owns two wind farms and a 150kw PV array. Renewable energy is affordable, reliable and something we are committed to using.
Our products are made to last and we encourage you to care for them properly and use them for as long as possible. T-shirts are printed to order in the UK using water based inks one at a time and in real time, so there’s no waste from over-stocked designs and sizes. What is made is only what people need, when they need it. When products are no longer wearable, each is designed to be sent back to the manufacturer and the material reprocessed, respun and made into new products. You can find instructions on how to do this inside every product on the washcare label. Scan the code, and get Freepost code (if you’re in the UK) to send the item back and get store credit in return. Let’s keep natural materials flowing, and end waste together!
How does it give back to bodyboarding?
As stated, we’re here to create ethical clothing with design we love to wear ourselves. There is a shortage, particularly in the UK for bodyboard specific clothing. If people wanted a garment made by bodyboarders for bodyboarders they’d have to look overseas and import. Severn also supports clubs in the UK including the Welsh Bodyboard Club, English Bodyboard Club, Bristol Bodyboarders Club and East Coast Frothers. This is done through prizes for events and competitions. By creating products that means something to customers we’ve been able to create a situation where they feel a apart of the brand. They return time and time again, not just because of the quality but the fact we’re collectively doing good.
Severn also believes in supporting the youth in our sport and does so by sponsoring three of the UK’s groms. It is not all about giving them clothes to wear and decals for their boards. It is just as important to give them a platform to promote both themselves and the sport, which we do through our website and socials. It is early days yet but people are becoming more aware not only of the talent the UK harbours but the existent of the sport also. Severn regularly acknowledges those who do good for the sport and send them products as a gift in kind. These can be photographers, videographers or even yoga teachers. People who give their time to help the sport grown in the UK.
What are your goals for the future?
It’s early days yet but a lot of ground has been covered in a short time. Together we have achieved many great things during 2021 and we look forward to a prosperous 2022. Although we are not driven by profit as with any business it is essential for us to be able to exist. The fact that we can do this whilst nature and the planet also makes a profit is something special and how we see the future of consumerism.
We thank everyone for being a part of our journey until now and collectively we will continue to make the right moves towards a sustainable planet. We will plant more trees. We will remove more ocean bound plastic. We will share the love and the stoke of bodyboarding to all.
Check out Severn gear here: