Early Bird Skis – Product Range

Today Early Bird Skis offers three different well balanced shapes for different purposes, but all with the same layup-construction: the ECO PERFORMANCE LAYUP combines FSC sourced wood cores, 100% natural flax fibres combined with carbon stringers for a perfect flex balance, bio-based epoxy resin with lower environmental impact, PTEX race-base made from recycled material, wooden sidewalls and top-sheets, oil finish and branded logos.

GRV’s View:

What we admire at Early Bird Skis is the commitment to the marriage of  technical and ecological performance. This ski is fun to ride and has the quality of a traditional hand crafted product.

BEST

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GRV Transparency ToolNutcracker, Jackdaw, Phoenix

 

2019

Management
Commitment
Product

Brand Management

  • High performance skis with the lowest possible ecological impact
  • All materials are chosen accordingly as local and/or eco-friendly as possible
  • Early Bird choose their material partners with stringent requirements
  • The energy for the production site is coming from renewable resources from a local source
  • With every ski purchased, the customer receives a first aid kit for the repair of the top sheet and some bio wax for the base

Brand Commitment

  • All Early Bird skis are designed with the same parameters
  • The workers of the manufacturer are paid more then regulated by local unions and law
  • Early Bird has pushed innovation as far as possible to produce high performance skis with a very low environmental impact
  • Early Bird is committed to optimized ecological performance within their roam of action, whilst partnering with larger businesses for more impact on some projects
  • No official reporting yet

Product

  • All raw materials are nominated, 100% traceability is guaranteed
  • FCS certified wood core and Lignum certified top sheet
  • Linen/carbon mix for stability
  • Epoxy partially bio based
  • Recycled steel and partially recycled base
  • CO2 emissions from transport are compensated
  • Brand Management
  • Brand Commitment
  • Product

At the level of Brand Management we look at all the aspects, which are directly controlled and integrated by the Brand’s Management towards business and supply chain strategy as a whole.

At the level of Brand Commitment, GRV is looking at the pro-active efforts towards sustainable development on all levels, like the % of sustainable product lines within the whole portfolio, or life cycle assessments and public reporting. These are key indicators of the Brand’s engagement towards ecological responsibility.

On this level GRV is looking at product related information, like material content, supply chain and certification. Warranty, reparability and “end of use” advice are also important aspects. At the moment, GRV is looking at selected highlight products from different product lines, which show the special sustainable efforts of the brand. At Early Bird Skis all Skis are the same, when it comes to ecological performance. So in this case our analysis is the exact mirror of the brands performance.

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  • Integration of Sustainability

    The company is run and owned by two ski enthusiasts who are passionate to design and produce high performance skis with the lowest possible ecological ...more

    The company is run and owned by two ski enthusiasts who are passionate to design and produce high performance skis with the lowest possible ecological impact. Both owners integrate all members along the production chain to have maximum transparency and control. They only choose to work with partners who are aligned with their vision.

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  • Guidelines & Social and Environmental Responsibility

    The manufacturing partner and some of the raw material partners they work with are fairly small and don’t invest yet in 3rd party certifications, ...more

    The manufacturing partner and some of the raw material partners they work with are fairly small and don’t invest yet in 3rd party certifications, like quality and social management standards, etc. But Early Bird Skis has internal guidelines to which the partners have to adhere. The owners consult with a local product manager, who runs weekly quality checks at the factory.

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  • Certificates and Standards

    Early Bird sources FSC and Lignum certified wood.

  • Material Program & Design Process

    All products are designed towards performance with the lowest possible environmental impact, all materials are chosen accordingly as local and/or eco-friendly as possible. See more at product.

  • Sourcing Strategy

    Early Bird Skis choose their material partners with stringent requirements towards their vision.

  • Resource Management

    The energy for the production site in the EU is coming from renewable resources from a local source, the heating of the work-shop runs with the wood cuttings from the production process.

  • Product Transport Strategy

    All raw materials are from Europe and all CO2 emissions related to transportation are compensated with Climate Partner. By moving the production from Bern Switzerland, ...more

    All raw materials are from Europe and all CO2 emissions related to transportation are compensated with Climate Partner. By moving the production from Bern Switzerland, where Early Bird Skis started originally in a barn next door, to the EU, they have achieved an improvement in CO2 emissions per ski related to transport on the raw materials, because those are shipped in larger batches.

    The transportation from EU to Switzerland, where most of the skis are sold is compensated.

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  • Environmental and Social Project

    Support of Social Project in one of the poorest regions in Peru called Caramba.

  • End of Use and Repair

    With every ski purchased, the customer receives a first aid kit for the repair of the Top Sheet and some Bio Wax for the base. ...more

    With every ski purchased, the customer receives a first aid kit for the repair of the Top Sheet and some Bio Wax for the base.

    If the top sheet need professional attention, it can be repaired at Early Bird directly, the base as usual at any competent ski repair center.

    So far there is no valuable End of Use program for skis, except individual down-cycling into furniture for example, but Early Bird Skis doesn’t have a specific program.

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  • Share and Definition of Environmentally Friendlier Products

    All Early Bird skis are designed with the same vision in mind- Performance with lowest possible environmental impact. The range of Early Bird Skis is ...more

    All Early Bird skis are designed with the same vision in mind- Performance with lowest possible environmental impact. The range of Early Bird Skis is very focussed and are all constructed the same way.

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  • Share and Definition of Socially Responsible Products

    Generally, in the hard good business there isn’t the same pressure on living wages then in garment production. The workers at Early Bird Ski’...more

    Generally, in the hard good business there isn’t the same pressure on living wages then in garment production. The workers at Early Bird Ski’s manufacturer are paid more then regulated by local unions and law.

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  • Innovation

    Technical performance of skis is driven by high-performance materials. Early Bird Skis is one of the few ski constructors who have pushed innovation as far ...more

    Technical performance of skis is driven by high-performance materials. Early Bird Skis is one of the few ski constructors who have pushed innovation as far as possible to produce a high performance ski with very low environmental impact – especially in regard to weight.

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  • Traceability

    Because of the personal connection and close cooperation with all partners along the production chain and the nomination of all raw materials, 100% traceability is guaranteed.

  • Design

    The three different Early Bird Skis models/shapes are made with the same sandwich construction, just the % of the different materials vary slightly.

  • Materials & Supply Chain

    The core of the ski is made from FSC certified poplar wood from South America. The side walls are made from robinia wood from Croatia. ...more

    The core of the ski is made from FSC certified poplar wood from South America.

    The side walls are made from robinia wood from Croatia.

    The top-sheet is a Lignum certified robinia vaneer from Switzerland, all logos are branded. The finish is made with a two-component natural oil.

    To guarantee a long life and stability, the sandwich construction is made from a high amount of natural flax-fibres combined with a minimised content of carbon.

    Carbon is a technical necessity and a sensible supplement to the natural materials, the carbon stringers used, increase the lifetime of the skis and thus have a positive influence on the overall ecological balance.

    Bio-based epoxy Super Sap by Entropy.

    Sintered (pressed) graphite race base, a Polypropylene from Germany, is made with recycled raw materials combined with a 100% bio-based ski wax.

    Recycled steal from Germany for the edges.

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  • Certificates and Standards

    The wood core is FSC certified and the wooden top sheet is Lignum certified.

    The recycled steal is also certified.

  • Packaging

    The ski is wrapped in recycled paper and placed in a recycled carton, with information printed on, which is very minimalistic and doesn’t create unnecessary waste.

  • Chemical Management (PFC’s)

    PFC’s are commonly present in ski waxes, Early Bird Skis uses well performing bio wax without PFC’s and provides a sample to the ...more

    PFC’s are commonly present in ski waxes, Early Bird Skis uses well performing bio wax without PFC’s and provides a sample to the customer on purchase, which increases the awareness of a still underrepresented environmental issue with the end consumer.

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  • Product Transportation

    Skis are delivered in packs of 15 pieces from the manufacturer either directly to the retailer or to the Early Bird Skis headquarter. CO2 emissions from transport are compensated.

  • Warranty

    Warranty is according to law, but Early Bird Skis has a repair facility in Switzerland.

  • Maintenance & Care

    The customer receives a first aid kit with some linseed oil to refurbish the top sheet, some sand paper and bio wax.

EARLY BIRD SKIS was founded in 2014 by passionate free-skier and engineer Hanno Schwab in Bern, Switzerland. Two people work permanently at Early Bird Skis, four people sea