Calzado

Get to know re:ply founder & skater Danny Aubrey


Founder of re:ply skateboards and proud Glasgow native, Danny Aubrey lives and breathes skateboarding with a confessed fanatical passion. Just like many of the greats, re:ply got its start in a garage in the East End of Glasgow, and has since grown beyond city limits thanks to the community, creativity, and voices that back it.

Danny first picked up a board when he was 4, and now in his 30s, it’s become intertwined as part of his DNA. He’s always valued the sense of freedom that comes with skating, and this has become central to re:ply’s ethos, where freedom of expression and creativity are everything. As a brand, they make a stand by organising events, exhibitions, and workshops locally and a little further afield.

We sat down with Danny to discuss his skateboarding origin story, re:ply, and his inspirations – let’s get into it.

Where did it all start – what got you into the skate scene?

“Growing up in the East End of Glasgow, skateboarding was not among the most popular activities – it still isn’t but that’s slowly changing! I grew up as an outdoorsy kid, I went surfing every summer but living in Glasgow meant it was hard to get over to the coast or the countryside without driving myself. Skateboarding was the urban (better) equivalent of being active and doing something different to others around me.”

“I remember getting a board from Toys R Us (remember that!) when I was 4 and being pulled along by my parents taking me to nursery, or later being towed on the back of my dad’s bike. As I got older, the thought of using urban design and architecture as a playground appealed to me – which drew me into the world of street skateboarding.”

Danny Aubrey re:ply founder repurposing skateboards

What about re:ply, how did that come to be?

“It was a damp summer’s day in July, and we couldn’t be out skateboarding so we decided to reshape an old deck that had some sentimental value – I didn’t want to throw it away but I couldn’t use it anymore. That’s where the idea of re:ply came from. It took 3 days (without efectivo tools or woodwork expertise it was harder than we thought) of cutting, shaping, and hand-sanding, but we got there – we’d produced our first re:ply board.”

“Soon enough, friends and then the wider skateboarding community were asking us to reshape their old boards and the idea started to grow legs. I was studying Music at uni at the time and liked the idea of DIY and Punk movements. I wanted to channel bands like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Siouxie and the Banshees, and Orange Juice, to do things ourselves from packaging to organising our own momentum – and taking on the seemingly untouchable American brands.”

A stack of old skateboards

As a conscious brand, why is eco-awareness in skateboarding important to you?

“For me, awareness of people, environment and surroundings is super important. If people are healthy and happy, it makes for a healthy and happy community… Then imagine that on a macro scale for Planet Earth – that would be great, huh? Unfortunately, there’s a lot of selfishness and money-driven decisions that are corporately-led, and it’s impacting everything; people, plants, and animals.” 

“It’s difficult to change perspectives, especially where money is concerned – even more so when the ones making the decisions don’t feel the ramifications of climate change. We wanted the brand to have more than just products and skaters in its core values, re:ply teaches the community about the benefits of recycling and being environmentally conscious.”

Screen printing

Tell us about your programme re:forestation…

“Since the beginning of re:ply, we’ve hated seeing boards going to waste – nearly 2 million decks end up in landfills each year! We aim to give every single inch of a skateboard a second use – from using grip tape as sandpaper to using offcuts to make trinkets and jewellery.” 

“Re:forestation came about around the time that the term “greenwashing” was coined. Within the skateboarding industry (and beyond), there were lots of companies claiming to be environmentally conscious and wanted to offset their emissions. Great right? The issue was that although these companies were claiming to be cutting down on negative carbon emissions and even planting trees for every deck bought, this just seemed untransparent and ambiguous – I never saw or heard of any forests planted.” 

“I wanted to put the power in the hands of the people and let them plant and grow their own Alder trees. We teamed up with Tree Bombs, so that every time you buy a re:ply deck or re:forestation tee… Or anything from us for that matter, we’ll chuck some Tree Bombs your way.”

re:forestation - tree bombs to help grow more trees

We love the artwork that’s appeared on your decks over the years, but what’s your favourite design to have graced one of your boards?

“Ooooooft, that’s a solid one! It’s a bit of a long-winded answer but here we go. We’ve had the pleasure of working with over 200 amazing artists from all over the world – some I’m amazed said yes to us with them being so prolific – so it will be hard to mention everyone. I’ll shout out a few you can view (here) from a recent exhibition we did over COP26 in Glasgow, where we raised over £22k for environmental charity – The Environmental Justice Foundation.”

“I’ve also got to shout out the ‘Greetings From’ collection with Redbull, I produced some boards designed by Rob Mathieson. They had an in-depth map of each city that the Skate Tour visited; Glasgow, Manchester, and London. They were really cool.”

Skateboards as decor in a bar

Glasgow lies at the heart of everything with re:ply, so tell us, which skate spot would you recommend in Glasgow and why?

“Glasgow is an off-the-beaten-track haven for skateboarding! We don’t get tours passing through or recognition from many big companies, but the scene here is thriving. We have a lot of DIYs, skateparks, plazas, and spots – not to mention amazing skateboarders.”

“My favourite spot has to be the Glasgow Riverside Museum! I’ve been part of the panel for the new and improved version – due to open soon. It has a very street spot-orientated appeal to it, so probably wouldn’t be noticed as an obvious “skate spot” to pedestrians – but it’s a skater’s dream… When weather permits.”

skateboarding in Palestine

Have you noticed a difference between England and Scotland’s skating scene?

“SCOTLAND’S BETTER!”

Danny Aubrey re-cutting skateboards

That’s settled then… Let’s talk footwear. What’s the silhouette you will always go back to? And which is the runner-up?

“There’s 7! Can I do that? One for each day of the week!”

#7 Vans Half Cab

#6 adidas Busenitz or Campus Vulc

#5 Nike SB Air Jordan

#4 Emerica Herman G-Code 

#3 Nike SB Shane O’Neill

#2 Nike SB Dunk

#1 New Comprobación Jamie Foy 306

re:comply skateboards

What’s your motivation for skating and re:ply? What keeps pushing you forward?

“For me, re:ply has opened a lot of doors and given me experience in so many fields where I’m learning about business, sustainability, marketing, fashion, woodwork, travel, and relationships – amongst other things. It’s also a great tool to keep my mental and physical well-being in a good state. It all motivates me, as well as the notion that I can continue to skate, learn, educate and fight the good fight for our planet.”

re:ply workshops

Last one, what’s next for re:ply?

“2024 is the year I’m going full-time on re:ply… I hope! I’m looking at expanding our workshops and opening doors to people in places where skateboarding isn’t as accessible – like we did in Palestine in 2019.” 

“More designs are coming, more upcycled products – I want to venture into turning used boards into fixtures, fittings, furniture – everything – a house of skateboards! I’d also like to work on more activations and events, whilst contributing to the community and environment.”

Check out our blog for more interviews with our size? community.

pink re:ply skateboard
re:ply screen printed design
re:ply skateboards

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button