When it comes to sustainable sports, running really feels like it’s up there with the best of them - with a boost of motivation being the main thing you need to get started. And it’s true, to an extent...
Performance running kit is often made using synthetic fabrics and running shoes are made to be replaced every few hundred miles, leading to unnecessary waste. It doesn’t end with your kit either - driving to beautiful running spots and the waste generated from running events all adds up. It’s time to be mindful of the impact we are having on the places we love to run in and the choices we make as runners.
We asked a few members of our Tribe for their thoughts on being a sustainable runner and where they are on their sustainable running journey.
‘Being a sustainable runner means being mindful about the products that I consume or use as part of my daily / weekly running routine. Not just the TYPE of products, but also HOW I use them. It means choosing brands that are sustainable and environmentally friendly and also using these in a sustainable way by not wasting. A practical example of this is to not buy new shoes until you have truly used the old pair to the point of really needing new ones. We do not NEED 10 pairs of running shoes.’
‘We moved to a beautiful part of north west Wales where you just automatically become more focussed on the beauty around you and therefore feel the need to protect it. We can partake in practical solutions, such as trying to pick up litter whilst out on a run and changing the format of large running events which produce massive amounts of waste. Most importantly we can shift focus to sustainability in the products we use and consume because manufacturing these products can have a major effect on the environments we love.’
Top Tip: Consume less. Running is a minimalist sport. You need a lot less 'things' than you would think in order to go out for a run. Just run!
‘Sustainability in running is something I've gradually been becoming more conscious of over the years, but more so recently. Nobody is perfect but we can make positive changes that make a difference.’
‘In terms of running gear, there are a couple of main things. The first is simply buying less ‘stuff’! It's tempting to buy the latest fancy apparel, but in recent times I've been asking myself the question "Do I actually need this?" Usually the answer is that what I already have is still good for the job. The second thing is that when you do actually need to buy some new running gear, to try and buy from a brand that practices sustainability and uses recycled materials. I think as consumers we should be willing to pay a little more to buy from brands who take the environment more seriously.’
Top Tip: Before you buy any new running apparel, ask yourself "do I really need this?" I've definitely been guilty of buying new stuff because it looks cool or whatever, but we need to cause less waste in the first place!
‘To me, being a sustainable runner means considering sustainability in all aspects of your training and competing. It's about choosing a sustainable diet to fuel your running (I'm vegan), sustainable kit and shoes to carry your running and supporting sustainable running brands that help to drive your running.’
‘In general, I think runners and the industry consider themselves more sustainable than most other sports, mainly because all you really need to run at a basic level is yourself and a pair of trainers. However, the more complicated the kit and the equipment, the less sustainable it gets, which can happen for serious runners and ultra-runners.’
‘I take sustainability into account in my everyday clothes, so why not with my running kit? I buy a lot of items from charity shops. I guess it's been a growing concern of mine since learning about the dire effect fast fashion is having on the environment and people in developing/third world countries.’
Top Tip: To make a difference you can't just be a sustainable runner, but sustainable in your everyday life too. For most of us, running is a part of a much bigger identity so we cannot cage our concern about sustainability into just our running.
‘The earth was here long before us and it's our duty to do everything we can to ensure it remains here long after us. I am very conscious of our impact on the environment and I do all I can to protect our planet as an individual. I feel that my running should reflect my beliefs that with a bit of work it's possible to create a sustainable future for everyone.’
‘Running without leaving a trace, keeping my carbon footprint low by running from home as much as I can. I always run with reusable hydration bottles/packs and I fuel with sustainable, plant based products. I have noticed in recent years that there is more awareness of sustainability within the running community and businesses are making efforts to create sustainable products and reducing plastic at races. Whether this is reflected across the industry and community, as a whole I am not so sure. We can always do more.’
Top Tip: I can't decide which is most important so one of these three:
- Purchase sustainably produced clothing
- Use reusable hydration packs or bottles
- Fuel with plant based products
Our Endure range isn’t just called that for nothing, it’s high-performance running kit made from recycled plastic waste that is designed to last and doesn’t compromise on quality.