Hi Janne! We start with a short presentation of yourself. Who are you? Where are you from exactly?
Well, I was born and raised in Skane County, in the south of Sweden, in a city called Kristianstad. I’m the youngest of 4, which feels great now that we’ve all passed 30…haha!
I’ve got two great passions in life, surfing and music. Music have brought me amazing opportunities and experiences i.e. super intense touring in Europe with my most recent band, Deville. And surfing…well as we all know, it’s a lifestyle!
What about REVOLWE. What does it mean? What was your motivation behind it?
Revolwe is a surf brand that I created inspired from traveling the world and being exposed to the major ocean pollution. As many surfers, I’ve spent countless hours cleaning up our beaches from waste and in particularly plastics, and it finally got to a point where I thought to myself, that I wanted to use recycled content and produce eco-friendly high performance surf accessories. Now, the challenge was to provide this without compromising performance.
Revolwe is like an acronym with the meaning;
RECYCLE - use waste as a resource
EVOLUTION - develop the future
WE - we are all in this together
Rome wasn’t built in a day… I know this leash took a crazy amount of work, and research to realize. Can you take us all the different phases before it finally hit the market last year? Did you have much financial backing to launch it, or were you working full-time at the same time?
I knew right away that it would take a lot of effort and time to get this project running from start to finish. Establishing the supply chain, making sure the production is being handled at my preferences and to launch a new brand in the industry plus get the surf shops to adapt and welcome my products.
I started off by researching heaps of materials and ways of producing more sustainable and eco-friendly materials. I pinpointed some materials that in theory could be used in the product so, I had prototypes made and put them to the test.
As the test went positive I started to work towards getting the leashes onto the market.
I invested all of my savings in the product development phase. In order to achieve my goal I knew I had to go all in but at the same time be smart about my choices. So, I decided to quit my full time job as a purchaser and invest in my human capital. I enrolled in a university education that I also could gain from within the company, digital design, and simultaneously working full-time on my company plus taking on extra jobs for financial support through the most intense periods.
Why a sustainable leash? Were there no others on the market?
The idea of creating a more eco-friendly leash arose after researching the market.
I found that there clearly was a slot to be filled, regarding sustainability and eco-friendly alternatives for surfers. Every surfer knows, that the cord of the leash needs to be elastic and stretchy, and in order to be just that, one can not create the cord on PET, as the cord would be stiff and not stretchy. So we’ve decided to use recycled urethane in the cord and recycled PET on other parts of the leash. One of many inequalities with our leash is that we don’t use any PVC as it is not eco-friendly nor sustainable.
Another distinguishing factor is, that we choose not to use Neoprene, as it is petroleum based. Instead, we’ve decided to use a plant-based alternative that emits up to ~80% less CO2 in the polymer manufacturing process, compared to conventional neoprene.
Now, straight to the big news! Tell us about the Slater Designs Collaboration: How did it start out? Did you meet Slater? Is he human or some kind of superhero/alien in real life?
It’s been an ongoing process for almost a year. The first contact with Slater Designs was when I exhibited at Surf Expo in Orlando, FL in Januari 2017.
Prior to that, I had had some contact with Sustainable Surf org. And after they visited my booth at the exhibition, it didn’t take long until I had the Firewire and Slater Designs squad (Mark Price, Brion Lange and Travis Lee) in my booth talking about Revolwe Leashes. They wanted Kelly to test them, and since Travis was flying out the next day to Hawaii to meet him, I gave them one or two leashes for Kelly to try! I got positive feedback from Kellys testing on the Revolwe leashes, which was, trust me, a looong stretch of period.
When I visited the headquarters in USA, Kelly was at the WSL comp in J-bay, and I think all the readers know what happened there, besides that he was using a Revolwe leash.
So, unfortunately I have not yet met him, and therefore I can’t tell whether he’s human, superhero or alien. BUT he is the worlds best surfer of all time, so my guess: A Living Superhero/Legend!
This is mind blowing! Huge congrats for your hard work and dedication Janne! How does it feel? Are you now super rich and can retire to some place warmer?
Huge thanks Mat!! Well I’m super stoked and really proud to have a collaboration with Slater Designs, it’s truly beyond my expectations!
Haha, nope! This isn’t making me super rich so I can’t retire in a dreamy location…yet.
Anyway, it gives me the opportunity to continue chasing that dream.
Good to hear Janne! I know you already have extend your concept to more products such as board bags. We are really excited for what's next! and again huge congrats Janne!