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The Consumer Conundrum

Image for article The Consumer Conundrum

“WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BUY NEW OUTDOOR GEAR” was certainly a headline that recently grabbed my attention.  As a retailer, my instant reaction was “Oh no!”  but I read on.

In essence, the article articulated thoughts that have been going around in my head for a few years now.  The impact of manufacturing clothes from petrochemicals, monoculture farming methods and the slow realisation that whatever we make, however we make it, is going to have a significant impact on the environment.  For an industry that encourages people to get out into ‘the environment’ and enjoy it in all its glory, this process of depleting our resources and negatively impacting the environment is eroding the foundations from under us.

How do we as consumers - and George Fisher as a retailer - square this circle? There are many approaches to this, but the well-known REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE has to be the starting point.  In this situation, as the headline suggests, don’t buy that bit of kit.  Do you really need that new shiny thing?  Can we keep our kit going for longer; do you know how to repair your outdoor gear?

In the current environment of disposable products and built-in obsolescence, how does the idea of buying the best product and making it last as long as possible fit in? How will you feel when your mates are all wearing the latest jacket, but your five-year-old garment is still going strong?  (Hopefully you’ll be feeling pretty good).

George Fisher’s part in this is clear.  We’re constantly striving to REDUCE, RE-USE and RECYCLE.   We aspire to have as little impact on the environment as possible.  We have a long way to go, we understand that, but we’re taking steps.  We recycle as much waste as we can.  From paper to toner cartridges, from window graphics to plastic packaging. We re-use as much as possible, from shop dressings to fixtures and fittings.  It’s amazing how much use we can get from stuff if we think carefully about it.

From the product perspective, our buyers go out and source the best possible products from the huge array available.  They think about what you’ll being doing in it, how it fits and how it’s made.  They then chose what they believe is the best kit that will keep you comfortable and happy, and most importantly kit that will last.

The clothing and equipment we sell isn’t local, and won’t be anytime soon, although a lot of the manufacturers we stock are looking at their part in this.  A great example of this is nearly everything we take from Patagonia is made from 100% Post Consumer Recycled plastic.  Didriksons take into account possible environmental improvement and strive to use more environmentally friendly materials, they use fluorocarbon-free water repellent sealers where water repellency is required. George Fisher pick the kit that is the best we can find for the job in hand, and will serve you well for years to come.

Great kit that is responsibly manufactured isn’t going to be cheap. Cheap kit, like cheap toys, break far too soon and need replacing.  Not a situation we want, and we certainly don’t want it for our customers.  Our team here at the store will always help you when choosing your kit to ensure you get the best possible product, with the best possible fit to ensure you get the longevity you’re expecting from your investment.  Our boot fitting service is a perfect example of this.  A well-fitting pair of boots that you have walked many happy miles in will be something you want to get repaired, rather than replaced.

George Fisher will be reviewing its position in the coming months to consider further how we can reduce our impact on the environment, and have a more positive effect on our locality and local community.

For now, we will continue to REDUCE, RE-USE and RECYCLE.

13 December 2017 by Patrick Taylor-Bird

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