UK Brand Profile: Thrashion - Recycled Skateboard Jewellery

Paul Vale

Posted on May 11 2015

Thrashion / TVSC

For this latest instalment of our 'UK Brand Profile' series, TVSC caught up with Nat Rigby, founder and owner of rad skate jewellery company Thrashion. They create one of a kind jewellery and accessories from recycled skate decks, giving you unique reminders of a boards past life! See what she had to say about her company and the UK skate scene in general...

 

TVSC: Hi Nat! Could you please give an overview on when, how, where and why Thrashion began?

Nat Rigby: My company started when I was pregnant with my little boy in 2007, I was needing some creativity in my life after a long break of not making. I found our old skateboard decks in the attic and had a lightbulb moment. I started off using handtools on a work bench outside our backdoor while the baby was sleeping (under a tarpaulin when it was raining!) sustained lots of injuries but after lots of attempts made my first bangle and I was hooked. I started making bits and bobs for me until I was brave enough to approach my first shop/gallery and it all grew organically from there. I’m now stocked at the Tate and have stockists all over the UK, my work has completely changed since those beginnings and has become a lot more sleeker and refined. 

 

TVSC: Who is on the management team, and what are their backgrounds?

Nat: Its just me doing a bit of everything, I  have skated on and off since I was 8. I very much see the business as a family business as all of us (Dan, Madog – my son, and Bberion – my daughter) all have input into what I do. I have a Fine Art degree but am also a Collections Manager at an art museum as well as running the business so I have many transferable skills! 

 

TVSC: What is the company ethos?

Nat: The recycling/eco friendly message is important to me so I only recycle broken boards, I use every last bit of the deck, and I also like to encourage young people to get creative with their recycling too, by running workshops and doing ‘how-tos’ I’m hoping this year to set up an outlet which will show you how to recycle your own decks into easy projects. 

 

TVSC: What sets you apart from your competitors?   

Nat: When I started there weren’t many people making recycled skateboard stuff, certainly none in the UK until at least 2012, and I find it hard to compete as a small business against large manufacturers making similar things. So my ethos is to innovate, stay original, work seasonally, always push the boundaries and create new things all the time! 

 

TVSC: Tell us about your environmental credentials...

Nat: The environment is very important to me and my way of saving the planet is by making small but significant changes. My company is very energy efficient and we have a very low carbon footprint, when we have a bit of capital I’m going to invest in a wind turbine so we can run on renewable energy. There is also no waste in my workshop as I recycle all of the skateboard decks, and any dust created is made into fire briquettes.

 

TVSC: What do you most enjoy about skating/surfing/snowboarding in the UK ? And most dislike?

Nat: The skateboarding industry is very accepting (although very fickle!) but I’ve been very lucky to have had support from people I really respect in the industry from the early days. When I’ve been injured (which is a lot) I’ve had nothing but encouragement to get back on my board from other skaters and empathy for how hard it is to get back after long breaks. I also think that the UK skateboarding industry in particular is very self sustaining with massive support for small skater owned businesses and grass roots companies.  How do you support UK athletes and the wider skate/surf/snow community? My way of supporting the wider skate community is to help with fundraising for new skateparks whenever I can by donating products for auction, or creating projects to fundraise etc.

TVSC: Which athletes do you currently have on your pro team?

Nat:I have a small (kinda) team of riders: Cullan Chapman, Jess Tredinnick and Lucy Adams, I like to support skaters who are starting out or finding their way back into it, I’m also a big supporter of the Girl Skate community and Girl Skate UK.

 

TVSC: Where are you manufacturing your products?

Nat: In my shed! I have a small workshop in my garden in Cornwall where I make all my products, its small but organised and works around me and my family time, and is the best place for me to be creative. 

 

TVSC team pick: Rhombus Cube Necklace

TVSC: What do you see for the future of your company?

Nat: I have no idea! I tend to go with the flow! 

 

TVSC: Where can we check out your videos/stuff?

Nat: you can keep up to date with all our goings on at

 

TVSC: Anything else?

Nat: Our new 'Rhombus' collection is launching 27th April! The title Rhombus has been derived from the Latin/Greek rhombos which is defined by an item able to be spun around or to revolve which is something Thrashion has defined in its practice of recycling skateboards. Rhombus can also mean an oblique angled shape, or a divergent of a straight line. The original skateboard decks have been cut to feature the original multistripe dimension of the board and is cut and sectioned in a different way which makes this item unique therefore another will never be made again, a guaranteed one of a kind piece.

TVSC: Thanks Nat, the new collection is rad!

 

Buy Thrashion recycled skateboard jewellery here...

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