Riders’ eco-friendly choices help drive industry to become greener *H&H Plus*

  • The equestrian industry has been making great strides towards a greener and more sustainable future. H&H finds out about some of the latest products and initiatives to be launched

    MAKING eco-friendly choices has been described as a “necessity” as the equestrian industry takes more steps to be greener.

    More companies are moving towards products made from recycled materials, reducing single-use plastics and packaging; giving customers an opportunity to help protect the environment.

    Equestrian safety company Fomo has launched horsewear products including show rugs, half-pads and fly veils using offcuts and leftover materials from body protector development.

    “As a business and particularly a manufacturer, you are so aware of the waste generated when creating products, garments especially – it’s huge,” Fomo managing director and founder Carmen Cummiskey told H&H.

    “We all have a duty to be more sustainable and upcycle leftovers and waste material. Products need to be multi-purpose and have longevity, and any waste that can be salvaged for other things should be. As equestrians we are already good at reusing, reselling, and fixing products – rugs for example. However, we need to get savvy to minimal waste policies to really push towards sustainability.”

    British Showjumping (BS) head of communications Maria Haig told H&H BS has this month switched from plastic membership cards to electronic.

    “This has allowed us to reduce our carbon footprint which has always been an aim, as well as helping to streamline registration processes, with Covid protocols in place,” she said.

    “BS magazine also switched to a recyclable potato starch wrapper a year ago, and BS has introduced other electronic processes in recent years such as the online grading app with the functionality for members to manage accounts and horse registrations online.”

    In 2020, ethical lifestyle brand Honest Riders launched natural shampoo bars for horses that come in biodegradable packaging, and recently launched winter riding leggings made from recycled plastic. The company plans to develop more products in its horse-care range in 2021.

    Honest riders founder and director Zoe Kiff told H&H she does not believe it is enough for a brand to label itself as eco-friendly if it only makes one element of its offering or product “environmentally conscious.”

    “Sustainability needs to be a key element of everything a business does. We try to ensure that every single element of Honest Riders is as sustainable as possible, considering everything from the fabrics and ingredients we use in our products to where and how they are made, the packaging they arrive in and the packaging we use,” she said.

    “Encouraging equestrians to be more eco-friendly in their choices is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity. As lovers of the outdoors, all equestrians have a responsibility to help protect our environment, or we risk losing the open spaces, climate and biodiversity we currently enjoy.”

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