All Lightwave products are made from materials derived from hydrocarbons. They are not renewable or usefully biodegradable. Little is efficiently recyclable. Downstream processes such as dyeing and coating have a no less significant impact upon energy consumption and the environment.
Lightwave currently has no answers to the environmental issues raised by its choice of materials. At this point in time, we are unable to achieve the high performance parameters of our products with anything but oil-derivative fabrics. We can only hope for the imminent development of suitable new materials from non-hydrocarbon sources, using low energy-intensive manufacturing processes.
In the short-term we resolve to:
1. Make our products functional and durable.
2. Repair as much as we can.
3. Recycle everything. Warranty returns are re-sold or donated.
4. Consume less. Don’t buy or use anything we don’t need.
In practice, we purchase the minimum amount of additional packaging, by recycling all the cartons in which the goods are originally shipped. We keep all marketing materials to a minimum (hangtags, point-of-sale materials, catalogues etc). We do not commute. The vast majority of our product presentations are done at an annual trade show (so our agents also spend little time on the road). We do not reinvent our products year in and year out (which entails needless designing, sampling, selling…).
Our medium-term goals include simplifying our supply-chain logistics. These are undeniably complex, primarily due to three factors: our use of specialist fabrics which in some cases are manufactured on one continent and coated in another, the wholesale migration of specialist production facilities to the Far East, and the distances between these and our markets.