Indoor rock climbing centres are on the rise in the UK, with new ones popping up left right and centre. But Flash Climbing is a climbing centre with a twist – it’s completely vegan, and could be the first of its kind.
The centre in Solihull provides all vegan food and drink, including the usual fare of cakes, energy bars and crisps. There are also plans afoot to open a fully functioning vegan café on the premises in the near future.
But as well as refreshments, staff at Flash Climbing ensured that all equipment and materials are also animal-free.
Cat from Flash Climbing says, “Once we’d made the decision to open a climbing centre the decision came quite naturally. We wanted to run an ethical business, one that treats people and animals well.”
The only tricky aspect was sourcing vegan-suitable climbing shoes. Cat says, “It was easy to find non-leather shoes, but it was challenging to find out whether the glue used was vegan-friendly. Eventually we came across a French company, Andrea Boldrini. We liked them most.”
The rest of the materials needed to create the centre were relatively easy. The group assembled crash matting themselves, ordering foam and carpet separately and ensuring that there was no wool present. Lots of the other building’s materials were recycled or reclaimed, such as the café furniture which is made from recycled pallets.
The Flash Climbing team has since worked with the Birmingham Vegans group, and organised vegan climbing nights where members can come along to try out climbing at a reduced price and make use of climbing instructors’ expertise. Even better – the centre also incorporates a yoga studio which offers a range of sessions for all abilities, including tutorials specifically tailored towards climbers.
Good news if you’re a vegan climbed based in the midlands! But if you’re not too far away and haven’t tried climbing before, now you can safe in the knowledge that you’re supporting a great vegan business.