Sustainability, ISPO and XCSkiing

The world of cross country skiing is insular. No more is it evident as in place where it has a rare chance to come into contact with “other universes” under one roof.

What’s ISPO?

it’s a gigantic exhibition roughly half of which is taken by the stands of various, mostly Chinese, enterprises advertising their ability and willingness to produce anything for you in any quantity & about three times as fast anyone else ( the key word – advertising)
The other half is entirely different. It’s taken by huge, glitzy pavilions of leading alpine and outdoor clothing and accessories manufacturers one look at which tells you where the money are in winter sports.

Cross country skiing firms exhibit on the fringes of Alpine grandeur: smaller stands, less items, less if any of professionally trained presentation personnel…

There is a new, growing “bubble” at ISPO though. It’s called Sustainability Hub and it features ever increasing amount of participating companies willing, above all, to push their environmental credentials.

Sustainability Hub is growing in size and visitors’ attention every year – small wonder when even at the Davos Forum environmental agenda is now a priority
The combo of messages inside the hub is clear: you got to save the planet by being more careful in what you buy and where, buying from us will help you to keep your conscience clear – but it would cost you

Some eco-manufacturers carefully add that “We produce in Europe” spiel with underlying message being “buying from everyone else you can’t be certain of how it was produced, you know?!”

But above all – “sorry that we have to charge you more but, apart from being happy with your life choices, you’re paying for an eco-fashion statement, you understand? ”

All right, then.

But where is cross-country skiing on all of that?

Mixed bag, really

One area every producer went eco-friendly are ski waxes. Again, most of the business in waxes is with Alpine/snowboard crowd – same one that is buying expensive eco-friendly clothing. So, basically, wax makers had no choice but to switch to non-fluorocarbon glides
Some manufacturers have started to add magic “no fluoro” words to description of their skis – but that’s about it

Sustainable textiles are still expensive, more of a Zermat crowd than a Vasaloppet crowd – and the “fashion statement surcharge” still hardly works in xckiing .

Switching to eco-friendly technologies in gear production is costly and manufacturers could ill afford the expense in what starting to shape into a very, very lean year after no-show winter in most of Europe.

In short – the xcskiing will do its best, but Greta Thunberg might not be entirely pleased with a progress.

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