WNDR Alpine is a Utah-based startup company that uses bioplastics based on algae to manufacture skis.
WNDR Alpine is a Utah-based startup company that has tackled ski manufacturing with an environmental approach.
One of the largest material sources for skis has always been petroleum-based plastic. But WNDR has introduced bioplastics based on algae.
Not only are these non-petroleum based plastics more eco-friendly, but it turns out that they are far more stable and durable.
A report in Dezeen has some of the more technical details.
“The bioplastics were developed by WNDR Alpine's parent company, the Berkley-based material innovation start-up Checkerspot.
First, microalgae are genetically engineered to produce all types of different oils when grown and fermented in steel tanks, "much like a brewery produces beer.”
These oils are then used as building blocks to create new, biobased materials. Rather than having to rely on a limited library of existing materials, this allows WNDR Alpine to create materials from scratch that are specifically designed with skiing in mind.”
And it’s the durability that WNDR was most concerned with, as the company mainly caters to off-piste skiers where equipment goes through a lot more punishment.
It took over 100 attempts to develop the ideal chemical formula, but the result is quite a breakthrough.
The unique process has also reduced the amount of waste. Traditional ski manufacturing processes result in a lot of waste as it cuts plastic to the right size.
It perfectly demonstrates that there are eco-friendly solutions for practically everything we use.