About Grown

Grown Story

Grown is an  Outdoor Creativity Lab with the aim of creating regenerative design solutions that are inspired by nature. Regenerative design of interconnected products, services and experiences is sustainable while actively contributing to learning and capacity building,  re-connecting people with nature. Grown is a non-profit lab; our research and communication is financed by the sales of products we design.

We design essential outdoor tools, things that are helpful and fun to use on outdoor activities as well as in daily (urbanized) life, and that are embedded within greater systems beyond the actual product.

We design local adventures, diving into place-based experiences with more space and time, leaving a minimal footprint while consciously learning about complex ecosystems and human-environment interaction.

We live a growing co-creation community that is inclusive in a way of shared passion for sustainability, nature, the outdoors, socializing and new cultural experiences, and the enjoyment of exploring one’s own physical and mental boundaries through outdoor activities, sports, intellectual discourse and fun events.

We bridge science, design and industry to develop more sustainable solution prototypes that are then getting introduced to the industry for upscaling and improving conventional, non-regenerative products and services.

Grown started in 2007 as an eco-design lab for skis. Today Grown is a non-profit lab developing Essential Outdoor Tools, organizing Local Adventures in selected places world-wide, hosting a growing Co-Creation Community and bridging Science-Industry Partnerships in Regenerative Design.

Already back in 2007, Grown developed and designed the most eco-friendly skis and won the first ISPO eco-design price in 2008. Today, Grown still sells high tech eco free ride skis, and in addition designs eco-innovated products in the sporting and outdoor consumer goods sphere.

As skiers, as environmentally conscious people, and as scientists, we were never happy with the existing skis on the market – the materials used and the far distances they travelled, and the overall environmental performance of the products. We decided to start a research study on the environmental performance of various conventional ski designs to learn about where and how to design a more environmentally friendly ski.

On the basis of our initial research, we developed our first concept in a small workshop near Munich. The result won the first ISPO Ecodesign prize in 2008.
This early success lead to the start-up of Grown as a company, developing, producing and selling the most environmentally friendly skis on the market. We seek to provide alternative, high-tech and eco-skis, and to push the industry to improve their products and processes. Since then we have been continuously improving our products, publishing the first environmental and social life cycle analysis (lca) of skis in a leading science journal*, making Grown the benchmark and the leader in sustainability in the ski industry.

*Luthe, T., Kaegi, T. and J. Reger. 2013. A Systems Approach to Sustainable Technical Product Design. Combining life cycle assessment and virtual development in the case of skis. Journal of Industrial Ecology. Online first DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12000

Grown team

Grown was founded in 2007 by the owners of the company, Tobias Luthe and Jan Reger. We both are skiers for life and merge our experiences and passions for sports, design and sustainability in the Grown company:

Dr. Tobias Luthe

Dr. Tobias Luthe

Co-founder of Grown
Professor for Sustainability Science at a Swiss University
Lecturer in Systemic Design, Resilience and Sustainability at ETH Zurich and University of Lugano
Systemic Designer
Ski mountaineering guide, German Alpine Association (DAV)
Staatl. gepr. Skilehrer DSLV Alpine/Nordic/Tele (ISIA)
Swiss Snow Pro (ISIA)
Professional Ski Instructor of America (PSIA)
Former Head of Environmental Affairs, German Ski Federation (DSV)
Former member of the German Demo Team Telemark (DSV)

Jan Reger

Dr. Jan Reger

Co-founder of Grown
Dedicated skier for more than 30 years
Head of department at an engineering company
Specialized in virtual development, computer aided engineering and optimization

Grown friends

Grown friends are representing our values of being pioneers in sustainable ski design, and of developing high tech and eco products. We team with professional skiers and sustainability advocates to test our products in the field, to become part of our open innovation product development process, and to communicate our vision.

Eric Berlow

Dr. Eric L. Berlow

Professional Ski Instructor of America (PSIA Level III)
Science Experience mountain guide for Grown
TED Fellow
Scientist in ecological networks and environmental sustainability
Owner of the Swall Institute, a work & play retreat in the Eastern High Sierra


Dr. Philipp Schneider

Ski and mountaineering guide of the German Alpine Association (DAV)
DSV Telemark Instructor
Science Experience mountain guide for Grown
Scientist at the University of Zurich in hydrology and geography

Franziska Heidenreich

Franziska Heidenreich

Ski mountaineering guide, German Alpine Association (DAV)
Telemark passionate
Head of Carbon Offset Projects at the myclimate foundation
Member of myclimate Management Committee
MSc in Environmental Sciences
Science Experience mountain guide for Grown


Steward Sheppard

Dedicated free skier and Telemarker for more than 30 years
PGDip economics & finance
MSc in sustainability & management
Self employed as sustainability consultant in the skiing industry
Responsible for life cycle assessments of garments for a world leader in outdoor membranes
formerly responsible for the Green Guide of ski resorts at the NGO Mountain Riders, France
Cofounder and president of the Sustainable Mountain Tourism Alliance (SMTA)

Su Moldau

Su Moldau

Dedicated Alpine skier for more than 20 years
Aspirant Staatl. gepr. Skilehrerin DSLV Alpine/Nordic (ISIA)
Guide and instructor for the snowsports school Schneestolz
Manager of a mountain- and ski hut on a South Tyrolian glacier – dedicated to move the hut management towards eco efficiency

Jordi Modolell

Jordi Modolell

DSV Telemark Instructor
Science Experience mountain guide for Grown
Professional kite surfer
Responsible for product R&D, eco design and Corporate Social Responsibility at a leading kite surf company
MSc in Forest and Environmental Sciences

Ingo Schlutius

Ingo Schlutius

State certified professional ski instructor in the Austrian Ski Association
Founder of powderproject.ch – developing a private free ski area in the Lesser Caucasus of Georgia
Working in tourism for TUI
MSc Business Administration, Major Tourism

Melanie Rottmann

Melanie Rottmann

Swiss Snowboard Instructor, Splitboarder, Telemark skier
Working as junior CSR (corporate social responsibility) specialist for an international outdoor sports group brand in Italy
Responsible for Community Building at the MonViso Institute, Ostana, Piedmont, Italy
BSc in Tourism with a specialization in Sustainable Development and eCommunication

Job Offers

Open position advertised 01.11.16

Community Manager (part-time 20h/month Nov ’16 – March ’17)

We seek a Community Manager (f/m) to support Grown this coming winter season in building our community by digital communication and real events, supporting the founding director and the Grown friends team.

Job description

The ideal candidate is a ski/Telemark/snowboard instructor or/and mountain guide with a strong value-based interest and spirit in and for sustainability. The offered position is part-time with a paid equivalent of about 20h of work per month, for the period November ‘16 until March ‘17. Ideally, the candidate is a student and/or works as a ski instructor/guide this coming winter, based in the central Alps (Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Northern Italy, France), and this part-time position is a valuable addition to her/his other job since it can be done from anywhere with flexible working hours.

In close collaboration with the founding director of Grown, the candidate will support website development, digital marketing, event organization and management; s/he will assist in daily routine tasks and has the chance to contribute to the design of new products and trips. The community manager will actively support the growth of our sales distribution network, help to build new partnerships, and manage 2-3 weekend events on-site. There is no fixed work place; the community manager works independently organized from her/his own mountain office or café, while being easily reachable by digital means and willing to travel between Innsbruck and Grenoble.

Required skill set

The ideal candidate is a great communicator who easily connects with people; s/he is independently organized, capable to multi-task and has an education/training in sustainability or related topics. S/he is a snowsports instructor or/and mountain guide, is fluent in both spoken and written English, and speaks at least one other alpine language (German, Italian or French). Language skills are most critical for this position. Furthermore, the candidate is experienced working with WordPress based websites, likes to write short marketing texts and narratives, is photo affine and creative.

We offer a unique experience in a highly innovative and creative, research-based outdoor sports and eco design business, great contact networks, and an adequate salary. Starting date is asap in November.

Applications contain a motivation letter, a CV with picture and information on snow sports and digital communication experience, and a one-half-page text about marketing a new eco friendly Grown splitboard. This info should be sent by email as one .pdf file to info@grownskis.com, attention Dr. Tobias Luthe. More information can be found at www.grownskis.com. Download the job description as a pdf document.

Applications are reviewed on a first-come-first serve basis.

Testimonials & Downloads

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what others are saying about us.


Telemark Friends
Telemarkfriends.com testing the Grown allmountain ski ‘TheOnly’, for the season 2014/15. Test summary: “Gibst du TheOnly eine straffe Führung und hast die nötige Power in den Beinen, dann wird er der einzige Ski für dich sein, dann brauchst du nichts anderes.” – “If you have the power in your legs to tell TheOnly what to do, then this will be the only ski for you, then you won’t need anything else.”

SLF tests Grown skis
The Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) in Davos has tested Grown skis in their snow laboratory. Result: Grown skis with their eco friendly materials and construction are at least as durable and tough as conventional ski constructions – even more, the basalt fibre construction delivers exceptional dampening in high speeds.

Planet Snow and DSVaktiv ski magazine from December 2012 (06/12) testing the Grown allmountain ski ‘OutGrown’, season 2012/13, with alpine bindings: “The Grown ski is a harmonically balanced freeride ski (…) showing a high performance through its high dampening capabilities, making it stable and calm at high speeds. The ski convinces with precise steering offpiste, but also onpiste. A great allmountain ski.

Telemark Friends
Telemarkfriends.com testing the Grown allmountain ski ‘OutGrown’, season 2012/13, with Telemark bindings: “Direct, without compromise. Grown skis need space and speed – if given both, there hardly is a better ski”.

Norr Magazine
NORR, the Scandinavian outdoor magazine, accepts Grown skis as new Green Partner, amongst selected companies such as Patagonia, Vaude, Hilleberg and Bergans: “Grown is the pioneer and leader in sustainability in the ski industry.”

7Sky featuring Grown skis and Entropy resins, glues made from renewable resources and used in Grown skis.

telemark zone
The French NGO Mountain-Riders featuring Grown skis in their Eco-Guide to mountain gear.

Sometimes a skier tests our skis and sends us a short video, and sometimes we interview someone who just skied on Grown skis and ask what she or he felt. Take a look at what skiers feel and think – check out the ski test playlist below and visit the Grownski channel on Youtube for more videos.