Countdown To Blue Earth '23 -
10-12 Oct — Bristol
Rab pride themselves on producing high quality, hard-wearing technical clothing and equipment that’s designed to last, but their commitment goes beyond production. They are driving industry wide change and are working hard to address the big challenges facing the outdoor apparel and equipment sector.
Rab lead by example. Since their inception, they’ve been repairing kit so it can see another adventure and not landfill. They use the world’s first GRS-certified recycled down, were an early adopter of the Responsible Down Standard and are also founding members of The Single Use Plastics Project set up by the European Outdoor Group, with their UK office and warehouse powered by 100% renewable electricity.
Rab are applying the lessons learned in the outdoors to the serious challenges facing our world. From climate change and the pressure on precious natural resources to fairness and opportunity for all. They aim higher, and find a better way.
You can find out more about the work Rab are doing behind the scenes in their 2022 Sustainability Report HERE.
Huw James is a professional science communicator and adventurer who mixes mountaineering, photography and running with education and film to show how science influences our time in the outdoors.
Originally from the South Wales Valleys, Huw grew up climbing the quarries and running along the coal tips of Wales’ fourth unofficial national park. He studied Astronomy and Space Science with Geology and is now a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical and Royal Astronomical Societies.
Huw has travelled the world talking about science to live audiences totalling over three quarters of a million people on 6 continents. He mixes outdoor adventure with education, doing live classroom talks from the glaciers of the high Alps, the Amazon jungle, the fissures of Iceland and the slopes of Mt Etna.
Now, amongst other things, Huw works with The National Geographic Society to train the next generation of Explorers, and co-runs the Athlete Climate Academy, educating athletes about climate change and the science of the outdoors.
– What can people expect to takeaway from your talk at BES?
I’ve worked in climate change education for over 15 years. The reason I now work with athletes and outdoor fans is because we are uniquely tuned to witness the changing environment on a daily basis. My work with Rab and Rab athletes takes what they say happening, and looks at how we can use those stories alongside cutting edge science to make a case for change in both the outdoor industry and the wider world.
– You’ve obviously done a lot of exploring in your time. Is there a certain trip or experience that you put above the rest?
The most impactful always seem to be where humans interact with the natural world. We will be in conflict with wildlife and the natural world more over the coming years because of climate change. In Hong Kong there’s a car park high on a hill where you witness people feed old world monkeys bread in plastic bags, which seems like a genuine gesture. But, then when you see them getting the plastic stuck in their mouth or the lost limbs from incidents with traffic, it really brings home what we continue to do to our planet.
– Within your position in environmental science education, have you noticed a change in the attitude towards the environment from the younger generation over the years?
It does amaze me how quickly we’ve managed to mobilise people in the last decade. Of course, people have been sounding the alarm for over a hundred years, but we seem to be gaining momentum. If we had all the time we needed to make the change to carbon zero, I’d have no doubt that we will do it. But we have to keep pushing, because every day that goes by that we’re not at net zero, is another step towards a warming planet where every point of a degree counts.