In their latest joint venture, IWC Schaffhausen and surfboard designer and entrepreneur Hayden Cox have teamed up to create a unique concept – the world’s first floating surfboard design studio. This very Australian activation was also designed to highlight the brand’s recent efforts to reduce their environmental impact, by – for example – using 90 per cent less plastic in their current packaging.
Members of the press were treated to a scenic flight around Rose Bay in NSW in a seaplane emblazoned with the IWC logo and watch motif, before landing on Palm Beach and disembarking onto the floating design hub, aptly named ‘Remote’.
Hayden Cox then treated guests to a masterclass in “upcycling”, a process in which manufacturing waste, such as glass fibre, chopped carbon, bio-epoxy resin waste, foam dust and an upcycled custom fibreglass cloth made from factory offcuts, could be fashioned into lightweight accessories like tail pads and fins for surfboards.
Cox’s surfboard label, Haydenshapes Surfboards, and IWC are both steadfast in their goal to reduce manufacturing waste, and both organisations are constantly striving to find innovative ways, such as upcycling, to make their products more environmentally ethical.
“There is still a lot of work and research to be done in our industry when it comes to creating a more sustainable product and one key issue is that at least 30 per cent of foam and fibreglass is wasted through off-cuts in manufacturing,” Hayden explains. “The ‘Remote’ studio is a space where I can work on some new ideas outside of the day-to-day work and distractions, in order to come up with new creative ideas which I will then be able to bring to life either through my brand or by making them available to the industry.”
IWC Schaffhausen’s objective of improved environmental efficiency and commitment to waste reduction has come along in leaps and bounds of late, with the Swiss watchmaker’s recently completed manufacturing centre boasting a suite of eco-friendly technologies.
Florian Gutsmiedl, IWC Brand Director for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do … how we manufacture our products, how we promote them, and even how we package them. In fact, our new high-quality packaging concept uses 90 per cent less plastic than previously. We are proud to see our efforts recognised by the WWF, which recently recognised IWC Schaffhausen as top among 15 Swiss watch and jewellery brands.” WWF’s report examines how companies take responsibility for the environmental impacts of their activities, and how transparently these efforts are communicated. Bravo to IWC, and congratulations on a creative and meaningful event.