An online horse-riding store is putting its Yorkshire customers’ love of the outdoors at the heart of its work to protect the environment.
Ride-away, which closed its York store to move entirely online in March, offers a huge range of country and equestrian clothing from more than 150 leading brands including Weatherbeeta, Ariat, Charles Owen and Horseware.
Inspired by riders’ passion for the environment and their connection to nature, its parent company is leading the way in environmental change in the retail industry.
A study by the British Horse Society on the health benefits of horse riding in the UK found that being outdoors and in contact with nature is an important motivation for the vast majority of horse riders, with one respondent explaining: “The outdoors and physical activity lifts the spirits, calms and relaxes while benefiting your health.”
It also reported that access to natural environments appears to increase the incentive to exercise – with some studies showing that being outside can even encourage people to exercise more intensely.
Ride-away, first opened in 1980 by then owners Stephen and Angela Clark, is now part of the Internet Fusion Group, a family of outdoor, action sports and fashion specialists.
Its ethos is for customers to “experience natural areas free from plastic pollution and enjoy functional weather systems that are not disrupted by climate change, all whilst wearing the best gear for their adventures manufactured in a process that is not detrimental to the very environment they enjoy using it in”.
In 2015, the group eliminated 14 tonnes of plastic from their own packaging, the equivalent of 650,000 plastic bottles, and by 2017 its packaging was 91 per cent free of plastic by weight.
The team has continued reducing plastic across the business ever since, and last year invested in two automated packaging machines which mean its outbound packaging is now 95 per cent plastic free. These state-of-the-art machines can detect the dimensions of the items to be sent, cutting the recyclable cardboard packaging down to the perfect size which means no need for unnecessary bubble wrap or paper filling. The clever technology has already saved over 5,600 trees and reduced the need for 90 lorryloads per year – and it’s 15 times faster than conventional packing methods, meaning deliveries are faster, smarter and cleaner.
The Internet Fusion Group has also put pressure on the more than 750 brands used across the group to tackle the plastic they send their items in; the unique delivery policy aims to limit and ultimately eliminate non-recyclable and non-biodegradable packaging from the company’s processes, and will hopefully spark wider changes.
As well as dispatching sustainably, Ride-away offer free UK mainland delivery on orders over £30, free UK returns and reliable international delivery to more than 100 countries.
For a one-stop shop for all your horse riding needs, from jodhpurs and long riding boots to tweed jackets and riding shirts, visit www.rideawaystore.com.