Rock climbing centres are on the rise in the UK. In May the UK’s highest man-made climbing wall opened in Yorkshire and recent news is that another gigantic climbing window is to be built on a sky scraper in London—opening in 2019.
While these new developments suggest the bigger the better, one indoor centre is pursuing a totally different route. Solihull based Flash Climbing, which opened earlier this year, is a climbing centre with a twist. Everything in it is completely vegan.
As well as refreshments, all the equipment and materials are animal-free. It’s part of the centre’s plan to improve ethics within the sport and the industry.
Of the development, Flash Climbing told Vegan Society:
Once we’d made the decision to open a climbing centre the decision came quite naturally. We wanted to run an ethical business, one that treats people and animals well.
But one of the main difficulties was sourcing vegan-suitable climbing shoes. It added:
It was easy to find non-leather shoes, but it was challenging to find out whether the glue used was vegan-friendly. Eventually we came across a French company, Andrea Boldrini. We liked them most.
Alongside the food and shoes, the company also had to ensure the rest of the materials used were vegan-friendly. In order to do this, the team actually created a lot of the equipment themselves including the crash mats, made out of foam and carpet. Likewise, they utilised a lot of recycled and reclaimed materials throughout the build including the café furniture—which was made from recycled pallets.
It’s refreshing to see a company trying to improve ethics within sports and you don’t necessarily have to follow a vegan diet to appreciate that. Flash Climbing is approaching climbing in a new way, not just through the environment it provides but also the footprint it leaves.
Featured image of Youth Bouldering Competition Summer 2017. Photo: Flash Climbing/ Facebook