Let’s face it, who likes getting caught out in the rain without an umbrella?
If you live somewhere where it rains a lot, an umbrella is an essential purchase, that you probably always carry in your bag. Some countries the weather can change rapidly and if your are anything like me you hate getting caught out and having to spend the rest of the day in soaking wet clothes. An sturdy umbrella in your bag will enable you to brave the elements and feel secure that that you can make the most of each day and stay dry.
Umbrellas are not usually the first item you think of when trying to be more sustainable, but a lot of people buy umbrellas and lot of those umbrellas end up lost, broken or discarded. So what do you need to think about when buying your next compact, full size or golf umbrellas?
When shopping for a eco-friendly umbrella it’s not all about buying a bamboo umbrella, or one made from recycled plastic bottles, ethical practices and materials are important but more so is durability. Umbrellas are generally not built to last with an average life span of just 6 months. We’ve all experienced that frustrating moment when a gust of wind turns your umbrella inside out breaking the spindles forcing you to throw out yet another broken umbrella. Even large strong golf umbrellas can have their moments.
There are estimates that over 1 billion umbrellas are sent to landfill every year. Everything that can be done to stop umbrellas ending up in landfill is a step towards being more sustainable.
Here is our list of durable and sustainable umbrellas.
Blunts tagline is built to last. These eco-friendly umbrellas are tested to extremes. Their eco umbrellas are tested in wind tunnels to category 1 hurricane winds, and firehose strength rain.
Their strength comes from the patented blunt tips which open like mini umbrellas in custom pockets at the canopy edge. This spreads the radial force reinforcing the structure at points where an umbrella would usually fail. The frame is supported with double struts which provide force to the canopy enabling it to withstand a range of strong winds.
They claim to be the most aerodynamic protective umbrella on the market. They also provide a 2 year guarantee and have made the umbrellas fixable so if there is a failure it can be fixed rather than sent to landfill. The umbrella also comes in a strong recycled box which can also be reused.
Blunt umbrellas are not cheap but when you think about how many umbrellas you have thrown away over your lifetime you will probably end up saving money too. Blunt umbrellas also have some beautiful and stylish canopy fabrics and a large range from a compact umbrella to large golf umbrellas.
Davek Elite Umbrella
The Davek tagline is buy once buy well. These eco umbrellas are crafted using 96 steps and 12 points of inspection. Every Davek umbrella is backed by an unconditional lifetime guarantee, if your umbrella fails for any reason Davek will repair or replace the umbrella. The umbrellas also come with a unique loss protection serial number, if you lose your umbrella this code can be used to purchase another umbrella at a 50% discount.
The umbrellas are uniquely strong and made to withstand the most brutal weather conditions, withstanding winds of 60mph. The frame creates a strong base and is constructed of high grade steel, fibreglass, zinc alloy, and aluminium. The canopy is made from 190 thread count micro weave which enables it to protect you from heavy downpours.
Established in 2008 London undercover have been bringing the humble umbrella to life. Using traditional techniques with modern materials such as pet recycled fabrics, steel frames and woods such as bamboo and hickory. The traditional tried and tested methods to ensure they are durable, and can last.
These eco umbrellas can be personalised and come with a large selection of colours and patterns which also makes them a great gift.
What to consider when shopping for an eco-friendly umbrella.
Wether you are looking for a compact umbrella or a golf umbrella, this is probably the most important thing to consider when looking for a sustainable umbrella. How strong is the umbrella and what’s it made of? Look for statistics on testing, for example what wind speeds has it been tested in. Other things to look out for are guarantees and ease of repair. If a product has a lifetime guarantee, the manufacturer is probably going to be more committed to making sure the product is going to last a long time. Offers of repairing products are also good as these stop umbrellas being sent to landfills.
Most umbrellas are made of nylon or vinyl plastic with metal frames and plastic poles and handles which are all difficult to recycle. You would need to separate the individual components and recycle separately. In reality very few people will do this. Look for recycled materials such as canopy fabrics made from recycled bottles and frames from recycled aluminium. Or natural sustainable materials like cork or bamboo which can be sustainable and used for handles.
How can I recycle my old umbrella?
Umbrella recycling can be tricky, the umbrella needs to be dismantled and the parts recycled separately where possible in local recycling bins, however not all parts will probably be recyclable. You may also be able to repair your umbrella check with your manufacturer.
Another option is to repurpose parts of your umbrella. At Design Milk they make lamps out of old umbrella frames. You could also convert the canopy into reusable bags. Here is one video from Forgotten Trinkets on youtube.
How to look after your umbrella
Firstly check with your manufacturer for any specific instructions. Never fold your unbrella when its wet, try to dry it while its open and then fold it away for storage. Try not to let any corosive substanes or materials fall on the canopy like hot ash and for plastic umbrellas don’t overexpose to the sun and the panels can perish. Open your umbrella’s canopy slowly to ensure ribs can open easily and no fabric is caught up in the mechanics. Try to avoid putting heavy items on top of the umbrella to avoid damage to the ribs. The canopy of a new umbrella can contain acid, therefore don’t leave a newly bought umbrella unused for too long as the acid needs to be washed away with the rain.
The Best Sustainable Umbrella Advice
The best advice to have a sustainable umbrella is to make it last as long as possible. Look after it, store it well, don’t put heavy items on top and make sure it’s closed properly.
And don’t lose it! When you need to invest in a new version make sure it’s an eco-friendly durable umbrella that can be repaid or will last a very long time.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about sustainable umbrellas. If you want to find out more about easy ways to be more sustainable click here.