Harrison Creative receives support from the running industry for our range of environmentally-friendly materials.
“Why isn’t it already happening? Everybody should be using it as far as I’m concerned!”. This is what Susie Chan, endurance runner, speaker, race commentator and presenter at the National Running Show, said when we asked for her thoughts on our range of environmentally friendly materials, including Enviroflag.
Enviroflag was launched by Harrison Creative in early 2019 after we worked closely with manufacturers to produce an environmentally friendly flag material. It is an environmentally-friendly alternative to knitted polyester that’s made from recycled single-use plastic and can be used as a direct replacement for all of our flags, feather flags, festival flags and giant crowd flags. Enviroflag has the same durability, strength and versatility of it’s knitted polyester equivalent but with a much lower environmental impact.
When we caught up with Susie about the environmental changes she has seen as a runner and how the industry as a whole is responding to the urgent need for change, she explained that in the last few years she has seen a huge shift in races becoming more sustainable, “even from three years ago, I’ve found there’s been a noticeable change and the need to reduce environmental impact is definitely moving up the agenda. people are definitely trying to work towards zero waste”, she explained. Susie has also found that the brands she works with are becoming more environmentally conscious, “I recently worked with Adidas who have brought out a range of shoes that are made from recycled plastic found in the ocean. I have also worked with a company producing technical sportswear from a material called Repreve; the garments are made from 80-90% recycled plastic and even though I was a little hesitant that they would be as good as my usual brands, the clothing was really nice and performed well when I tested them.” Susie also explained that a brand’s efforts to be more sustainable is something she considers when she’s approached to work with them.
Susie is very well-respected in the running world and has achieved some incredible feats including finishing all of the World Marathon Majors, running the Marathon des Sables four times and competing in races across the world in extreme conditions such as the Jungle Ultra – running the Andes to the Amazon – and the Ice Ultra – a 230km race over 5 days in the Arctic Circle. She told us of some of the races she has completed that take sustainability very seriously, “Death Valley is incredibly strict on managing it’s impact on the environment and penalises participants if any rubbish is left. Everything you use or take is marked with your race number and, if they identify anything that’s left as belonging to you, you are automatically disqualified. I also find that races on National Trails encourage participants to leave no trace and take all rubbish home. My experience is that ultra marathons are quite ethical at their core”.
Susie gave us an insight into the impact of good branding on a race and it’s importance within running, she explained, “I commentate on a few races and I think good branding adds a professional feel to events; it really makes a difference.” She went on to say, “from my experience the branding can change the feel of a race and when you consider the race villages too, good branding really lends itself to creating a great atmosphere”.
We asked Susie what it was about our environmentally friendly product range that made her wanted to work with us, she explained, “for me it’s the environmental angle of the work that you do. People tend to take a lot of those things for granted and there’s an assumption that it’s already happening – it’s great that there’s someone out there offering it” she went on to say, “branding doesn’t seem to be on people’s radar as something that needs to be environmentally friendly and I think it needs a few high profile races that take the reins and lead the way for others to follow suit.”
Susie also emphasised that participants do notice the sustainability measures put in place by races, especially some of the more unusual ones, “races are starting to adopt more innovative plastic-free methods, especially at their water stations where one event this year had water capsules made entirely from seaweed which were fully biodegradable. Changes like this are very welcome and are noted by participants”.
To find out more about our environmentally friendly product range, click here, or speak to one of our event branding experts about our range of products please call 01325 390192. Alternatively click here to view our Envirofamily brochure and find out more about our materials and their uses.