As part of Quiksilver’s ‘Surf the Mountain’ campaign, the ‘High Altitude’ line isn’t just about performance and style, but also about Quiksilver’s journey to push for a more sustainable future within the textile industry.
“A personal favourite of Austen’s is the Flame On Fleece”
This year 93% of Quiksilver’s outerwear assortment features sustainable components and by choosing to ride for a brand that values sustainable practices Austen and Miles are already making statements when it comes to their personal values. But it doesn’t end there, as both of them have their own ways of helping to keep Mother Nature happy.
“When I was younger me and my homey Mike Dalton started this beach clean-up,” Miles tells us. “I’m from the Jersey Shore so I grew up by the shore, surfing, and we just started doing it [picking up plastic on the beach] on the weekends – doing our part, trying to keep our local beaches and bays clean. It’s really sick to have a little community of people doing it.”
As a man who’s lived off the grid and goes on an annual litter picking trip around the Vancouver Islands, Austen is very modest about his way of life – even if we find his efforts to be quite impressive.
“I mean, I do a lot of things on a smaller scale,” he says. “I’m probably not going to change the world but I can change my lifestyle to help a small part of the world to move in the right direction.”
Once a year, Austen, his fiancé [Robin Van Gyn] and their friends take a boat out on Vancouver Island. “We go to all these islands which are essentially uninhabited”, he tells us and continues, “We clean up as much of the trash as we can fit into the boat and then dispose of it best we can.”
Austen also decided to live off the grid for a few years, which came with its own challenges. “It was a cool thing to try. We used rain captured water, a compostable toilet and had a fully solar panelled home. Moving into a more normal house after an experience like that has definitely made me more aware of turning off lights and trying not to waste water. When living off the grid you come across a lot of power management, which made me realise that we probably waste an absurd amount of energy and water.”
“When living off the grid you come across a lot of power management, which made me realise that we probably waste an absurd amount of energy and water”
Austen is a huge advocate of the ‘look good, feel good, ride good’ mantra, which is why he appreciates Quiksilver’s outerwear being made out of plastic bottles. “They’re a company that supports me and what I support through snowboarding. It makes me feel really good and I like that”