Becoming Plastic Neutral
At Vuori, we’ve always had an intimate connection to the ocean—from the shores of our home base in Encinitas to glassy reefs across the Pacific. We believe that clean oceans are critical to the happiness and health of people and the planet. That’s why we’ve been making large strides to reduce our plastic usage overall and partnering with Cleanhub to offset our remaining plastic footprint by investing in recycling programs that keep our oceans clean.
Our first step in reducing our plastic impact was to take stock of how much plastic packaging we used annually and explore ways to replace it with sustainable solutions. In 2020 we put our heads down and worked hard towards a plan to reduce our use of plastic garment bags. In 2021, we plan to eliminate the majority of our plastic garment bags by packaging our products with a roll, pack, and tie method - no bags necessary. By the end of 2021, we’ll have saved more than 1.2 million plastic bags. For styles that require packaging (for example, lighter colored garments) we’re introducing a new garment bag made from recycled materials that’s also recyclable. By 2022, we’re on track to eliminate 80% of plastics from our shipping and supply chain.
After calculating our remaining plastic footprint, we worked with Cleanhub—an organization that coordinates collection centers around the globe to divert plastic from the ocean to be recycled and repurposed—to offset 100% of our plastic impact from 2019 and beyond. From Cleanhub’s vast network of vetted recycling partners, we’re proud to be supporting a project with the female-led recycling company Tridi Oasis in Indonesia by funding our equivalent plastic footprint to be collected before it enters the ocean so that it can be recycled and repurposed.
As global citizens that have traveled down off-the-beaten roads chasing swell, we’ve seen that plastic pollution often disproportionately affects coastal communities that are ill-equipped to handle the waste. Globally, a staggering 91% of plastic waste does not get recycled. 80% of all plastic waste that ends up in the oceans is classified as non-recyclable. That’s why we knew it was important to both reduce our plastic usage and offset through recycling models.
We were inspired by Cleanhub’s model that gives value to plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill or polluting the ocean. Through Cleanhub’s partnerships with local communities around the globe, these plastic items are recycled or used as an energy source, while enabling communities in polluted areas to earn a living by keeping the oceans plastic-free. Through working together, we hope that it plays a small part towards creating a future of clean oceans.
We know that there’s still more to be done on all fronts of how we do business. With that, we’re designing our garments so that 80% of the textiles we purchase will be comprised of certified sustainable materials by 2022. In addition, we are working with our mill and factory partners to establish and enforce strict policies pertaining to chemical use, dying, processing and beyond. Since 2019, we’ve been certified Carbon Neutral and will continue to reduce and invest in that space into 2021 and beyond.
As we create the best products for you to live extraordinary lives on land and sea, we’re humbled to become better stewards for the environment and our communities along the way. We recognize that making clothing is far from perfect, but we’re committed to navigating 2021 guided by our values, quantifiable benchmarks, and tangible actions that invest towards a cleaner future for mother earth and the people that inhabit it.