Name: Nairoby

Sector: Sports Equipment

Pros: Snowboards made with a thermoplastic composite that at their end of life can be recycled and/or partly reused in new equipment

Characteristics: Snowboards and skis delivered directly to customers and offering personalised shapes, dimensions and designs.

Included in the Circular Economy 100 Emerging Innovators by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Nairoby is an Argentinian start-up introducing the circular economy in the sports equipment sector by focussing on material and production process innovation.

Made with different layers of materials such as wood and plastics, snowboards and skis are expensive items that deteriorate rapidly and are impossible to recycle because they are painted with chemicals and solvents that are bound together by resins.

Naioroby patented the unibody, which can be personalised at a later stage according to taste and user requirements. The initial thermoplastic composite made with micro and nano particles guaranteeing flexibility and high performance is transformed, thanks to heat and pressure, into a white board.

Subsequent electronic and heat moulding processes adapt the shape, dimension, flexibility and camber of the board according to the customer’s online profile which in turn is saved on the cloud. The image loaded by the customer is then transferred onto a white board and finally steel edges and inserts are applied when the board is ready for delivery.

Once customers are done with the board, they can send them back and re-order a new one modifying or keeping their preferences which are saved to their profile, even enjoying a discount on new equipment thanks to a re-creation code. Once the board comes back to the company, it is cleaned, ground and transformed into recycled raw material, used to create new equipment and therefore reducing costs and environmental impacts.

According to one of Nairoby’s founders, Sebastián Rosenfeld, “this process improves the relationship between users, sports equipment, hiring and our planet. From snowboard and skis, we will move on to surfboards and wakeboards.”

Along with B2C and B2R business models, the technology patented by the company can also be licensed to a global subject.