Hayden Cox and upcycled cloth
Gotta love an active mind...
It's been over a decade since Hayden Cox pulled apart the traditional surfboard and reassembled his Haydenshapes boards in a new and peculiar way. Yet what looked weird in 2006 has become regulation in 2020 with every label having some sort of carbon solution.
Keen readers of Swellnet may recall that last year, last July to be exact, we sat down with Hayden to talk about new ideas in board construction. In our discussion, Hayden pushed the enviro line a number of times. Aware of his label's footprint, he's attempting to tread more softly: less energy, less waste, more recycling, and he even hinted at new products along those lines.
This week he's made public one of those products - upcycled cloth - which is simply fibreglass and carbon offcuts from the laminating process that's been recycled...in fact, 'upcycled', into lengths of fresh cloth.
Of course, things are never as simple as they seem, and the process to integrate used cloth into a fresh weave, thereby reducing waste but also maintaining strength and quality, is a complex one.
As with all things Hayden does there's a marketing angle. This time 'round it's a collab with a watch company I'd never heard of who apparently reuse their waste material which inspired Hayden to do likewise.
The result Hayden has come up with is faithful to his blanc and noir colourway.
See vid below and presser beneath that.
What is it?
An upcycled fiberglass cloth that is made with chopped carbon fiber and fiberglass off cuts, aerated, then woven into new multiaxial cloth. It is a sustainable material created with the ethos of reducing and repurposing waste created from surfboard manufacturing back into creating a new product. Visually, the monochromatic black and white synonymous with FutureFlex is honoured by the disbursement of the chopped carbon.
How does it compare with a traditional fiberglass cloth?
The FutureFlex Upcycled Multiaxial fabric is a 6oz cloth made up of a stitched biax with the chopped strand upcycled fiber content in between the layers. You can use it in a single layered wet layup bio-epoxy lamination each side of the board to create a standard weight lamination with a nice homogeneous flex pattern. Compared with a traditional surfboard lamination of a single 4oz bottom with a 2x4oz deck, you will use about 10% more resin, yet the durability and strength of the lamination is substantially higher through the multiaxial and random nature of the FutureFlex Upcycled fabric.
When and where will it be available?
Right now we have progressed past the first rounds of samples and are now focusing on scaling up and making the upcycled cloth available. The two key focus areas will be development of machinery to cut and sort the waste fiber and a hopper/spreader to work with Colan Australia’s existing multiaxial weavers. This will take capabilities from small quantities to hundreds of meters. Ways to collect / receive carbon and fiberglass waste from not only Haydenshapes, but other manufacturers, is also being explored.
A decade ago Hayden worked directly with Damien and the team at Colan Australia on developing carbon fiber tapes which are now used by the majority of surfboard manufactures industry wide. The goal for the ‘FutureFlex Upcycled Multiaxial cloth’ is to again provide a material to the wider industry however in this instance, create something that is sustainable and works to minimise the environmental footprint by reducing the waste. Like the carbon tapes available, this cloth will also be distributed by Colan Australia however will sit within the ‘FutureFlex’ brand offering.
How did the idea come about?
In 2018, Hayden was invited to the IWC Schaffhausen manufacturing facility in Switzerland, watch makers of over 150 years, and saw first hand ways that metal off-cuts were collected and repurposed back into product. From here, Hayden linked up with Damien at Colan Australia to weave the upcycled cloth and the first sample board was built on board Haydenshapes ‘Remote’ pop up floating workshop in October 2019.