Q&A with Tidal Links Founder
We interviewed Tidal Links founder Kevin Watson. Check out the transcript below from a Q&A session and the Tidal Links journey so far.
Q. WHAT MADE YOU START TIDAL LINKS?
A. Growing up on the coast in the Northeast of Scotland I spent a lot of my childhood on the beach, as well as playing the local links golf course, Newburgh-on-Ythan GC, which was definitely the foundation for my love of links golf. It's easy to take for granted the scenic coastlines in which our famous Scottish links courses share, which is a huge part of the links golf experience.
I'm sure everyone has noticed over time that our coastlines are littered with waste that has either been washed up from offshore, or mismanaged waste from inland has ended up on the beach and it only seems to be getting worse. In a recent study by Marine Scotland it found that approximately 90% of the plastic in Scottish seas comes from littering on land, which is not only disappointing but completely avoidable.
Through Tidal Links, we've created a business that looks to create unique high quality products using recycled ocean plastic to help raise awareness around the issues that mismanaged plastic waste has on our environment. We're also keen to show that just because something is more environmentally friendly doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice on style, performance or quality.
Q. ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY OUTSIDE OF GOLF?
A. It's fair to say that I've become much more aware of the issue over the last 4-5 years and the impact that my day to day life can have on the environment. This has mainly been through news articles and documentaries that have definitely pushed more focus onto this issue. I won't pretend that I am perfect but I do try to actively think about my choices and behaviours and how they relate to environmental impact, from the car that I drive to reduce emissions, to reducing single use plastic like the type of deodorant I buy. Even making a conscious effort to make sure you recycle things properly can make a small difference.
As an individual it is easy to think what one person does won't make an impact, but I do believe that if everyone can make relatively small changes to their life in terms of waste, collectively it can make a significant difference.
Q. WHERE IS GOLF GOING IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABILITY?
A. We are starting to see movement in the industry that would suggest that golf is starting to think more about sustainability. Most of the focus in the past has been on golf course maintenance, with large improvements on things like water and pesticide usage. There have also been some notable initiatives, such as the Open championship introducing a no plastic bottle policy for the tournament, with the issue of reusable bottles to players and the provision of water stations across the golf course for players and spectators.
It is true that in almost all businesses, there is environmental impact one way or another. Whether that is carbon footprint from manufacturing and deliveries, or waste output from production methods. At Tidal Links we make a conscious effort to continuously improve on our operations, to minimise our impact and make our products as sustainable as possible.
Q. WILL PEOPLE BUYING YOUR GOLF PRODUCTS REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
A. We have a long way to go to reduce waste and our products are a small part of this. However, our intent is to get people thinking more about their consumer behaviour and with every Tidal Links product sold is another person who has made a conscious decision to choose a more sustainable alternative, which can help introduce that mindset into other aspects of life.
Have questions of your own for Kevin? Feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.