As well as being likened to Del Boy Trotter by some extended family members due to my wheeling and dealing, I’ve also accepted the monicker of Stephen “all the gear, no idea” Morrison. Over the years I’ve been someone who has all the kit and gadgets anyone would ever need (recently bought myself a DJI Mavic Mini 2 drone) without the expertise to use them (although I am quite proud of my drone videos so far).
Time for Change
As someone who varies in size as often as the seasons change, I also own enough clothing and footwear to stock a Peckham market stall. Some of it was unworn and even had tags attached.
I had chests of drawers, baskets, boxes and bin bags full of clothing that I would one day wear again. One day.
That day has been coming for about 3 years and over the October holiday, I made a decision to have a clear out.
I would give most of it away. The running kit in size small and some in size medium went to my two teenage step sons. Expensive jackets, unworn shorts and some running tops that I didn’t even know I owned.
The rest (with a few exceptions) went to our local charity shops and I made myself I vow.
I would limit my spending on clothing, shoes and kit and I would put an end to my yo-yoing weight (more on that soon). Owning full wardrobes of clothes in sizes medium, large, extra large and now extra extra large isn’t sustainable or good for my mental health.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t buy myself new kit. Recently, I’ve been experiencing significant knee pain again and while I no longer run (never say never), I’ve looked out my orthotics for general everyday use having had Magic Mandy at Hampden Sports Clinic prescribe them.
I wear running shoes every day so I’ve had to go through my running shoes to see which ones best fit my orthotics and will need some new shoes and/or new orthotics.
When I buy new shoes, it’s not only the fit I am going to consider but also how they are manufactured.
As a consumer I am going to consider the ethical and sustainable working practices of the brands I purchase from. COP26 comes to Glasgow next week and climate change is something we cannot continue to ignore. We also cannot ignore how wasteful we have become and how our actions are threatening to make our planet inhospitable.
While it’s absolutely not hypocritical to support sustainability while still being a consumer we can make smarter choices (see my previous blog for some more ideas).
There are brands who I will no longer buy from (looking at you, Lululemon) until they improve their practices and there are brands that I will fully support.
One such brand is adidas. Since 2015, they have partnered with Parley for the Oceans and have used plastic retrieved from the oceans in the manufacturing of their shoes and clothing. Over the years, I’ve owned a few pairs of adidas Ultraboost Parley shoes and each pair has been manufactured using around 11 plastic bottles.
However, I’ve also seen first hand the plastic washing up on our shores and collectively we need to do more and we need to shop smarter.
In addition to making Ultraboosts my shoes of choice (it’s a hard life) I’ve also been buying kit from the adidas sustainability range of clothing.
Primeblue is another range from adidas made using recycled plastic from the oceans and beaches of the world. By making a switch to recycled clothing we can reduce our environmental footprint. It has no impact on the look or feel of the product but it absolutely reduces our impact on the planet.
As well as being sustainable they also come in size XXL and as I lose fat I will replace each item with a smaller size and donate the old kit to charity.
At Christmas, I tend to direct my family to Lululemon to buy me gifts but this year, I’ve made it clear that I only want sports gear from adidas As a parent, I do not want to force my opinions on to my children, but Santa will be bringing them some sustainable adidas kit (so much that I am close to the exalted “Icon” status on the adidas app).
To help me get started, adidas kindly gifted me a new pair of Ultraboosts (pictured above) and some kit. Regular readers will know that I am generally uncomfortable with sponsored posts. I want this blog to be somewhere you find honest reviews and an open account of my experiences. If I work with a brand or organsiation, it is because I genuinely share similar values or approve of their business ethics.
Adidas is genuinely a brand that I respect and whose shoes I have been buying for years, but I decided to also use this opportunity to raise funds for an organisation and cause whose values and cause I absolutely support.
The Marine Conservation Society organises beach cleans across the UK and provides resources and education on how we can reduce the waste being washed up on our shorelines.
Now, I am not Mr Beast and cannot recruit the world’s biggest creators (he didn’t pick me) to help clean our oceans, but I did manage to recruit the early adopters of a new social media platform Hyprr.com which launches soon to help me via this post.
Tipping using the platform token Hype, I was able to cash out approximately £175 which I am donating to the Marine Conservation Society (I’ll top up to £200). Huge thanks to those that donated but I also have one final ask.
If we work together, how many of you would be interested in a coordinated worldwide (hey, my readers and friends come from all over the globe) beach or park clean next year using Hyprr (and hopefully another soon to be announced partner) to organise, fund and share our work?
Ideally we would need a minimum of 8-15 (COVID19 restrictions may vary) in each location and the only resources you will need are litter pickers, gloves and bags.
If you are interested, reply to this blog, comment on my Twitter feed at @howmanymiles_ or Hyprr.com at @Stephen with your location and I’ll respond.
My friends at the World Calisthenics Organization have already vowed to support my efforts. Will you join them?