In Long Beach, California, Street Plant is doing things its own way. The skateboard company operates out of founder Mike Vallely’s garage, affectionately dubbed "Garageland," behind his home.
Vallely and his daughter, Emily, founded the company back in 2015 and worked closely with Daniel Creadon, owner of Factory13 Skateboards, to create a custom, sustainable, environmentally friendly line of boards called Street Plant Naturals. The company is featured in the latest episode of the Popular Mechanics series “MADE HERE.”
“If there’s anything we can do as a company to be more responsible, we should at least try,” Vallely, a longtime pro skateboarder and member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, tells Popular Mechanics. “That’s where the idea for the Street Plant Naturals comes from.”
Creadon, who has been working in the industry since 1999, makes these specific boards using environmentally sound practices like working with a bio-based epoxy and water-based inks and sealants to eliminate the need for oils and animal byproducts in the finished product.
“The first skateboard presses that I built were literally out of dumpsters,” Creadon says. He would find materials that had been tossed into the trash and repurpose them. “I was a welder. I could put it back together and build anything I want.” And he did just that.
“I literally dug the pieces out of the garbage and built my first two skateboard presses,” he tells us. Creadon’s recipe for taking scraps and turning them into gold involved combining his passion for skating with artistry and craftsmanship to create something different and new.
“When you’re dealing with skateboards, you’re dealing with wood, and you’re dealing with urethane—things that have a societal and ecological impact. You can’t get around it,” Vallely says. But he wanted to try.
Vallely and Creadon worked together to find a way to lessen the environmental impact created by skateboard production in what Vallely calls a “long process.” The end result was a resin-based board comprised of seven pieces of maple ply.
“We arrived at some place that’s, if anything, a step in the right direction,” Vallely says of the Street Plant Naturals skateboard production.
Vallely credits his family for helping him move forward into the next chapter of his life and establishing Street Plant once he was done skating professionally. “I figured we had nothing to lose, so we may as well just start doing it and see what happens,” says Emily.
“It was with [their] encouragement that we set off on this venture,” Vallely says.
You Might Also Like