The Satori Movement was founded by Craig Nejedly with the goal of enjoying skateboarding, art, music and culture while also giving back to Mother Nature through being as eco-friendly as possible. They have been able to keep their products sustainable and continue to innovate ways in which recycling can play a factor in product manufacturing in a variety of products including apparel and wheels. We got the chance to catch up with Nejedly and learn a little bit more about what they are doing to keep their commitment to the environment strong.
How has Satori's commitment to the environment evolved through the years?
The commitment to our environment has always been a huge part of Satori from inception. Over the years, it has evolved step by step as we have grown and quite rapidly due to more overall awareness by the consumers and suppliers these days. We are now finding more sustainable options available in our product development is great
What have proven to be the biggest challenges when it comes to minimizing the company's environmental impact?
The expense. It is often more expensive to do the right thing, and being a small company with limited marketing punch, we run into the monetary challenges of doing the right thing. Otherwise, we are all over minimizing our impact from the perspective of how we operate, reuse and recycle within the office and try to streamline all processes to be most efficient and efficiency helps the environment.
By your definition, what constitutes an eco-friendly product?
Tough question. In many ways it's the thought that counts. It's hard to be 100% eco but if a company is doing what they can to improve from the “norm” which tends not to be eco-friendly in a consumption-based economy, then they are making a more eco-friendly product. We make wheels. They are so incredibly not eco-friendly and we are aware of this challenge, but we just introduced post consumer recycled wheels so although we are still making a product that is not so eco-friendly we just made it over 70% more eco-friendly by reusing post consumer content thus reducing the use of virgin materials. Any product that offsets the use of virgin resources is eco-friendly to some degree. I can not make any one definition really.
What types of bio oils are used to make your EcoThane wheels?
Veggie based oils, and particularly soy, are most common but these are oils that the big chemical companies like dow and 3m type monsters are finally producing. These mega corporations are feeling the demand and finally helping to provide some more renewable components for manufacturing. We have been looking for these resources for over 10 years now and they are finally becoming available over the last 2-3 years
Could you briefly describe the process used to make your ReLife wheels?
This page sums it up : http://satoriwheels.org/news/relife-wheels/
Basically we are retreading wheels in the simplest description. We collect old used wheels, clean them, cut them to consistent sizes and then these old wheels serve as cores in the new ReLife Wheels. The bearings on our new ReLife wheels sit in the bearing seat of the old wheels! Each set looks so unique because we could have 4 different colored or cored used wheels present in each set of the ReLifes. They are so truly unique and the environmental impact is really substantial!
What trends do you see shaping the way companies approach eco-friendly products and practices?
Cant say we pay too much attention to the trends. We just focus on trying to make the best products possible in the most sustainable way we can. Maybe that is a trend in itself and true sustainable initiatives can produce efficiency and efficiency lead to cost savings and if that leads to a bigger bottom line, surely lots of companies will jump on that bandwagon. Walmart, Nike, and others are realizing this FINALLY.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Live simply to simply live ~ we also need support of skaters and shops nationwide to contribute to our ReLife wheel collection efforts as we can not produce ReLife wheels without the support and participation of the shops and skaters out there. It's a great way to bring more community back into skateboarding – having collection contests among shops for product incentives helps support the foundation of local skaters going to their local shop and supporting that tight knit community that skateboarding grew from. Keep it rollin'.