Vans currently has been working on more sustainable ways to source the materials required to make their apparel. Their current leather Old Skools are made with low VOC leather that is approved by the Leather Working Group’s certified leather. Leather Working Group is a multi-shareholder group that creates a protocol to measure a company’s environmental compliance promoting sustainability and appropriate environmental business practices. They certify that a companies are actively reducing their footprint by looking at water use, energy consumption, air pollution and waste. In one pair of leather Vans, 82% of leather used is LWG certified and next year they plan to be at 100%. Vans has also been producing their line of Slip-ons is made with cotton from Better Cotton Initiative since 2014. BCI is a non-profit that is working to create a more sustainable future by working to reduce the environmental impact while bettering the livelihood and economic development in the cotton producing areas. In one pair of Slip-ons, 46% of the carbon footprint comes from the cotton used. Overall, the shoes felt great, just like they always have, but we feel even better wearing them knowing that they were sustainably produced.
Their clothing line has also incorporated Better Cotton Initiative into their flannels, pants, and woven shirts as well. They are producing a board short made from 100% recycled Polyester Polysuede. The clothes made from BCI cotton were extremely comfortable and also left us the same great feelings about sustainable outerwear while still retaining the comfortability and style Van’s has gained their reputation for. The board shorts were great shorts that dried fairly quickly and looked great. Our only complaint would be that the stretch was not the best in terms of surfing, they did however work great for out on the boat, around the pool, hanging out at the beach, etc.