Sector 9: Always Green

posted by / News / July 19, 2007

With all organic clothing and new Bamboo skateboards, Sector 9 welcomes the rest of the industry to the “Green” side.

They’ve loved green their whole lives. Sector 9 has always prided themselves on being conscious of the environment and their products reflect it. With even more initiative, they’re happy to see where things are going. We caught up with marketing team member EG Fratantaro to see what they’ve been up to between surfs and skates on their insane in-house bowl.

SURFING MAGAZINE: HOW DOES SECTOR 9 SEE ITSELF FITTING INTO THE SURF INDUSTRY?

EG: Well we are a skateboard company and we market mainly to the surf industry. That’s because we are all surfers here at SECTOR 9. Our style of skateboarding whether it is pool, backyard, ditch or downhill is a reflection of our surfing. We have all skated our whole lives, but we have always been surfers too. We market ourselves more towards the surf community, and it has actually worked out better for us, because skaters wouldn’t really have that in the beginning. It’s just like surfing a longboard. You don’t want a bunch of longboarders to paddle out at lowers and sit at the peak. That’s the way skateboarders felt about longboarding, whether it be cruising to the store on a longboard they just didn’t see it as something that’s cool, but I think that is something that has changed, years and years later. Where do we fit in? I think we fit in our own little niche. We have our own style of skateboarding and we just fit in. We appeal to surf, skate, and snowboarding. That’s one of the best things about our company is its diversity.

WHAT INSPIRED SECTOR 9 TO PRODUCE BAMBOO BOARDS?

EG: I guess I can attribute it to being a hippie, I’ve been raised that way. So I try to instill that into the company, whether it be wood recycling or recycling cans and bottles. It’s sometimes hard getting a group of people to do that. I attribute our change to going down to SIMA 2 years ago (this was pre-green everything) we got to hear the owner of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard speak and I think it finally sunk in, I think it was a combination of everybody having kids and having their kids eat healthy. It took the Yvon speaking and telling us what he is doing to the whole surf industry. Right after that when we got home we said “ok we need to make a change right now.” That’s when we decided to make some kind of a longboard or cruiserboard that is made out of something different and is super renewable and lasts a long time. So we went with the bamboo. No one was doing that; we are always trying to do something different from the competition. We said, “ok bamboo is cool, it grows super fast and it looks beautiful.” We tested the boards out on hardwood floor and decided to come out with three boards and had a small marketing campaign but they just took off on their own. At that same time we switched our entire t-shirt line to organic cotton. When we came back from SIMA we decided to really make a difference. In the surf industry we were the first company to offer organic tees. For the future we are looking at organic socks, and our new hoodies will be organic.

WHAT SECTOR 9 PRODUCTS ARE YOU STOKED ON THE MOST?

EG: I’m more of a skater than a surfer, I do both but I skate more. Out of all of our stuff there are so many boards, there are like 40 different boards. I’d have to say I’m stoked on the progression of our line. The fact that we are coming out with new stuff, with crazy new trucks that create the most responsive carving board on the market. If I were stoked on one board in particular I’d say it would be the hydra, and that whole sidewinder series. It’s not just one particular board. Also the fact that our company is still the same group of friends that started 13 years ago, and I’ve been here since day one. To me that puts a smile on my face.

WHERE DOES SECTOR 9 GET INFO REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF PRODUCTS FROM?

EG: We get all of the facts from the internet, it’s such a powerful tool. We put facts in there that people might think about. We want to inform the public about organic products, whether it be hang tags or written on the inside of the shirt. You got to have information and you got to let people know what organic is and what it’s about, and ultimately we hope that generates more interest.

HOW DO YOU PICK YOUR TEAM RIDERS?

EG: I’m super picky about who rides for us. They have to keep the same integrity that we have, we keep it a family here, and we literally have 13 people working in our office. We have a family feel here we aren’t a huge corporation, in fact we bring our kids and dogs here and we all hang out with each other, we are here until 7’0clock every night skating and playing ping pong, and I want to keep that same vibe with our team riders, and I’ve always wanted them to see SECTOR 9 as a family and not some huge company. When we get somebody new on the team it will start as word of mouth. If somebody wants to ride for us then I’m going to see them and we are going to talk and that’s how we are going to do it. If an agent calls me and tries to sell me on a rider then I don’t deal with that, I want to talk to the rider, we are a personable company. Most of our riders have been with us for a long time.

WHAT GOALS DO YOU GUYS HAVE AS A COMPANY?

EG: One of our biggest goals is to provide an outlet for fun, basically to bring people into skateboards and try skateboards like ours. One of our goals is to give back to the skate/surf community. They aren’t selfish goals, we want to take care of everybody who works here, but we want to keep coming up with innovative products. Our goal at the end of the day we want to provide a really good product.

**Be sure to pick up SURFING Magazine’s second annual Green Issue, on newsstands August 21, 2007. Find how sick you break actually is, check the surf all over the world on International Surfing Day, see Dustin Humphrey’s trip to Banda Aceh where over {{{200}}},000 people died in the tsunami and much, much more. **

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