Ever wondered what happens to old snowboards when they are no longer needed? These clever cookies in Austria are giving tired-out snowboards a new lease of life by upcycling them and taking to the streets! Meet Ruffboards, the Austrian social enterprise, crowned winner of our Join Our Core competition in 2014.
Who's Behind This Great Idea?
Dynamic duo, Mel Ruff and Simone, started the business back in 2013, with the aim of tackling both an environmental and social problem in their local community, in Vienna. We know that businesses can be powerful tools in creating social change for those in need, and Ruffboards is a great example of a business doing just that!
What Impact Do They Make?
Each year, 25,000 snowboards are purchased in Austria, with the figure in neighbouring Germany being 200,000! A huge number of these boards end up heading to landfill, which is where Ruffboards innovative idea comes in... to upcycle these boards by turning them into a new type of skateboard, the longboard!
That's not all however! The team want to use every opportunity they can to support their local community and therefore work with leading charity, Neu Start. With the help of Neu Start, they employ former offenders to manufacture their funky longboards, offering a second chance to those who want to turn their lives around, in turn creating a stepping stone towards a more stable future. The cycle of reoffending in Europe creates huge social and economic problems for society and government, so we need to find more innovative solutions, like Ruffboards, to break this cycle.
The team have now developed three forms of longboard to take their enterprise to the next level. They are also working hard to upcycle every part of the snowboard, including this funky range of belts.
And lastly, all you budding snowboarders out there can now get your hands on your very own custom-made longboard, made from your own snowboard! The team have designed a handy online tool to help you design your board, and they will keep you update with each step of your snowboards journey!
We like to support people who have great ideas to create change for communities around the world, which is why Ruffboards were crowned as a Join Our Core winner in 2014! You can find out more about the other Join Our Core winners here.