Flash Climbing, a climbing centre based in England, has become the first all-vegan centre of its kind. They offer vegan gear and equipment along with snacks and food.
All-vegan climbing centre Flash Climbing recently opened its doors in Midlands, England. Co-owner Richard Twilton—who has been vegan for two years—opened the centre to create a cruelty-free space where climbers can connect. “We’ve put a lot of effort into making sure everything we do is vegan but we don’t make a big deal about it,” Twilton said.
The centre offers 300 square metres of bouldering – rock climbing for adults and children aged 4+ from beginners to seasoned climbers.
“Bouldering is low level free climbing without ropes up to a height of 4.2 metres above crash mats,” says Richard, who now lives in Solihull.
“It’s more athletic, more about technique than just being challenged to get to the top so it makes it a good alternative to the gym.
“Being more of a hobby, it’s a sociable way to keep fit.”
The vegan side of the business comes from Richard’s desire to care for the environment and extends into other aspects in making the business as ethical as possible.
“I’ve been vegan for around two and a half years and vegetarian for 10 years,” he says.
“I became vegan mostly for environmental reasons, to try to reduce the impact on agriculture and animals.
“The T-shirts we sell are organic and ethically sourced, we have recycling bins for people to use in the building and have asked the companies who supply us to reduce their packaging when sending us products.
“We don’t serve cow’s milk in our tea and coffee, which sometimes turns a few heads. Some people have been surprised but no-one has complained or asked for a refund on their coffee.”
He adds: “We also sell vegan snacks like flapjacks, chocolate cakes and fruit together with snacks people often don’t realise as vegan, like Oreos.
“In the future we’d like to open a vegan cafe here but we’re focusing on building the climbing side of the business first.
“We’ve had really positive feedback and reviews on Facebook. Kids love it too, even if they can’t get to the top straight away they’re desperate to come back to try again.”
Richard and his team went to great lengths to source vegan-suitable climbing shoes, eventually finding a firm that made non-leather shoes using vegan-friendly glue.
When it came to the rest of the materials in the centre, most of it was made from plastic and recycled or reclaimed wood.
Day entry costs £8 for adults, £7 for concessions or £6 for under 18s and students. There’s also a deal where you can buy 12 entries for the price of 10 and monthly passes.
Taster sessions are available throughout May.
The centre is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm on Saturdays and 10am to 7pm on Sundays.