Mervin Manufacturing operates out of Carlsborg, Washington and is well known for it’s environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.
But what’s less known, and what helps to contribute to make their practices more friendly to the earth, is the location of where they test their products. They have close access to test both their snowboards/skis and their surfboards (yep they make skis and surfboards too!).
Just What is Mervin Manufacturing?
Mervin operates a number of different snowboard, ski, surf and skate brands, namely:
- Lib Tech
- Bent Metal Binding Works (BMBW)
All snowboarding brands of course, with Lib Tech, GNU and Roxy doing boards and GNU, Roxy & BMBW doing bindings. But Lib Tech also does skis, surfboards and skateboards too.
And What Makes Their Factory Different?
The Mervin factory is quite unique to snowboarding manufacturing for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, they are one of the only snowboarding companies to design and manufacturer their snowboards in the same place – in a purpose built factory. Never Summer and Capita (The Mothership) are 2 others that spring to mind – but the rest are typically designed in one place and the manufacturing takes place somewhere else – and usually in an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
That’s not to say that one is better or worse in terms of the quality of the snowboard – a lot of boards made in OEM’s are very well made – and it depends on the quality of the OEM. But this is to point out that this is one of the things that makes Mervin more rare among snowboard companies.
The other thing is that they have close access to areas to test their boards with the Hurricane Ridge ski area under an hour away from the Factory. Never Summer also have similar access from their Factory and Capita actually have their own testing grounds next to their factory.
Of course, others have testing grounds near their prototyping facilities – so the advantage of this is a little overstated, but the combination of their own factory, near their testing grounds is a potent one – especially from an environmental perspective.
The Environmental Difference
There is pressure on every snowboarding brand these days to be better environmentally. And that’s fair. They operate and make their living because of the great outdoors and the bounty of snow that falls. Every snowboard company has a responsibility, in this writers, opinion, to do as little harm on the environment as possible. And there are a few that are living up to that well – Lib Tech being one of those – and arguably the one that is doing the most – though there are a couple of others that are up there too.
What Does Mervin do to Limit Their Impact on the Environment?
Well, for starters, the fact that they have their factory in the same place as their headquarters/prototyping – and have all of this close to their testing grounds, is in itself a great start. Not having to travel thousands of miles to inspect their products in a far flown factory reduces their impact. As does the fact that their biggest market is close by – so they cover less miles shipping their products to the end customer.
Also, having control over their manufacturing processes means they have control over how eco-friendly those processes are. So they can implement things like:
- Powering their plant via renewable energy
- Using “eco-materials” like renewable wood for their cores
- No hazardous waste
- Eco-friendly processes
- Using everything possible
For more on their environmental processes check out:
Mervin Manufacturing’s roots can be traced back to 1977 but it was 1988 when Mervin Manufacturing was officially a thing (over 30 years ago at time of writing).
The factory that Mervin now operates from, the subject of this post of course, was opened in 1995. So they’ve had almost 25 years in the same facility to hone and refine their processes and technologies – which is pretty cool. Must be pretty disruptive having to move factories.
Mervin Manufacturing, creators of Lib Tech, GNU & Roxy snowboards, as well as GNU, Roxy and Bent Metal Binding Works bindings (in addition to other non-snowboard related products) have been in the game a long time – and their factory has been with them for much of their history. This has allowed them to refine their processes and technologies to produce, in this humble writers opinion, some great snowboards – and to do so in an environmentally sustainable way.
Have you ever owned or used any of their snowboards or bindings? What do/did you think of them? All comments welcome – just leave them in the comment box below.