SUSTAINABILITY – OUR PROMISE, NOVEMBER 2020
“What humans do over the next 50 years will determine the fate of all life on the planet.” – Sir David Attenborough.
The stark truth is there is no Planet B, only Planet A. We must ALL play our part to protect it, starting right now.
Since 2003, when inov-8 was founded, we have pushed ourselves to be sustainable in all our working practices. Now, from November 2020, we are taking it to the next level, and promising to put sustainability at the heart of everything we do.
A new inov-8 sustainability strategy, developed over the past 12 months in partnership with Dr Anne Prahl (an expert at the forefront of sustainable workings and design), will guide every aspect of what we do. Details of the strategy are outlined below.
How will we extend the active life of our products?
• By extensively testing all products before they are made available to buy.
• By widely communicating product care details that will extend longevity and performance.
• By ensuring we reuse products that have life left in them.
What have we done to date?
• Carried out pioneering work with The National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester to put Graphene (the world’s strongest material) into our flagship products. Graphene imparts its strength into our rubber outsoles making them harder-wearing and longer-lasting. Graphene is not classified as hazardous. The Graphene used in our outsoles is produced by a process which is fully optimized for quality, safety and sustainability. The byproducts of Graphene are recycled and/or recovered in an environmentally sustainable manner. We will expand our use of Graphene in new ways in the near future.
• Heavily researched and brought to market new, super-durable upper materials, such as the Schoeller® ceramic-coated fabric used on the ROCLITE PRO G 400 GORE-TEX boots. Ceramic coated materials are also used to protect the International Space Station.
• Significantly increased both our laboratory and in-the-field testing levels for all products to ensure we only bring to market those that can withstand the rigors of the sports they are designed for. We more than double the industry standard when it comes to the level of testing for wet and dry materials. At the same time, we’ve reduced the number of sample shoes we use for the testing process by 38% for Autumn/Winter 2021 versus Autumn/Winter 2020.
• Included a link to product care instructions on our homepage and sent these same details to customers purchasing products from our website. We’re investigating ways to further communicate product care instructions.
• Given excess samples from product development a useful second life. This is done through the charity ReRun, who we have teamed up with. They work to distribute the shoes to those in need. This can be families on low incomes or refugee camps.
How will we reduce our environmental footprint?
• By choosing materials with a lower environmental impact.
• By reducing material and product waste.
• By reducing pollution.
What have we done to date?
• Continued to increase the number of sustainable materials used to make our products. For example, the recycled yarn used in some of our base layers is made from plastic bottles. We’re also set to launch our most recycled shoe to-date in 2021.
• Cut down on the number of sample products used and instead focused our attention on using digital samples. This has helped us minimize waste and shipping needs.
• Made sure our shoes boxes are made from recycled card, feature only water-based vegetable ink, and are fully recyclable. We’ve also overhauled our use of hangtags on clothing products. They are now made of FSC certified card. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) confirms the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits lives of local people & workers.
• Researched energy suppliers and chosen those which can ensure our offices are run on renewable energy.
• Optimised efficiency (and reduced movement of product via travel) by using a multi-warehouse system. We now have warehouses in both the UK and US. We’ve chosen carbon neutral shipping partners and only use air freight as a last resort. All our shipping cartons are reused or recycled.
How will we support and enable sustainable lifestyles in our community and beyond?
• By donating proceeds of sales to environmental charities.
• By redistributing shoe samples and unusable returns to charity.
• By volunteering with community projects.
What have we done to date?
• Donated proceeds from sales to Fix The Fells in the Lake District (home of our brand and HQ). The 2020 Black Friday Sale has been renamed The 2020 Green Friday Sale and we will donate 5% of every purchase to help support planting trees in collaboration with Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
• Given excess samples from product development and unusable returns a useful second life. This is done through the charity ReRun, who we have teamed up with. They work to distribute the shoes to those in need. This can be families on low incomes or refugee camps.
• Volunteered with local charities close to our Lake District home. For example, staff members have been volunteering for Waste into Wellbeing, a charity set up to reduce food waste and help feed those in need.
Thank you for supporting inov-8 and helping us in our drive the protect the planet. If you’d like more information about our sustainability strategy, read this Sustainability FAQ
The team at inov-8