IWC Schaffhausen and brand ambassador Hayden Cox have released a new film showcasing the surfboard designer at work. Focusing on Cox’s pioneering approach to upcycling, within his Haydenshapes Surfboards business, it marks the next stage of a shared journey between the Australian and IWC Schaffhausen towards greater sustainability.
Shot mostly on location at Haydenshapes’ ‘Remote’ floating pop up studio on Sydney’s Pittwater, which was set up in partnership with IWC Schaffhausen, the film demonstrates how the company is trying to reduce its impact on the environment. Cox is shown repurposing manufacturing waste, which is typically thrown away, into performance surfboard components and an innovative new cloth.
“We wanted to take the offcuts and waste we are normally left with and create something new,” explained Cox. “Traditionally, we discard about 30-40 percent of our raw materials in the production process, which then ends up in landfill. Therefore, our wish was to come up with an entirely new idea to regenerate that waste into surfboard components we can actually use.”
Taking leftover carbon fibre and glass fibre from surfboard lamination, Cox has developed an idea to upcycle them. After being cut up and aerated, the waste fibre material is then mixed together and reintroduced into weaving machines to create a brand-new fabric. Foam dust and bio-epoxy resin waste are also transformed into lightweight accessories like tail pads and fins.
“There are businesses that make incredibly sustainable surfboards, but I like to think differently and do things in my own way,” added the Australian. “I wanted to create a board that doesn’t create waste – or if it does have some waste, then it is used elsewhere.”
It was a trip Cox took to the IWC Schaffhausen factory that prompted his ground-breaking upcycling idea. While there, he saw the watchmakers using scrap materials, and he wondered if he could apply the same methodology to his business.
“As I was going around, I saw how all the metals and raw materials, which are offcuts from the production process, aren’t wasted,” he explained. “Instead, they are carefully gathered up, then melted back down and used for new watches. From that tour of the factory, the idea for our pioneering upcycling process in surfboard manufacture was born.”
IWC Schaffhausen has long been a leading proponent of greater sustainability within the industry. As well as recently signing up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to avoid plastic waste, renewable electricity powers the brand’s new Manufacturing Centre as well as the Headquarters.
“We see sustainability as integral to our future and it’s at the heart of everything we do. From powering the manufacturing process in a green way to developing new packaging for our finished watches, which uses 90% less plastic than previously, we are constantly striving to minimise the environmental impact of our business.” – Franziska Gsell, CMO IWC Schaffhausen