Ü Learn Episode 13: Being a Conscious Consumer – Sanuk®

To accompany this episode of Ü Learn, we’ve collaborated with our partners at the Surfrider Foundation to bring you some ideas and reminders of how we can all practice mindfulness in our everyday lives to be more conscious consumers for our ocean and planet.

When we buy new items, there is an associated cost— and not just the one that affects our wallets. From impacts on the ocean, to our local environment and communities, everything we purchase has a story of how it got to us, and where it will go when we’re finished with it. As consumers, we can be more mindful of our impacts on people and the planet by considering the composition of the products we buy, from materials and ingredients to packaging, transportation and sustainability practices. For instance, before purchasing new goods, you might try asking yourself questions like:

  • Where do the materials and ingredients that make up this product come from, and where do they end up?
  • Is there an alternative that requires less resources and is derived from organic or regenerative materials, or from an existing waste stream?
  • What does the product’s end of life look like? Can it be recycled or composted, or will it go to landfill?
  • If it’s single-use, is there a reusable alternative to avoid unnecessary waste?
  • Could I buy this product from a local producer to cut back on carbon emissions?
  • Could I borrow or buy this used instead of new to conserve resources? Could I repair something I already have instead of purchasing a new one?
  • What values and practices am I supporting if I purchase this product from this company?

At Sanuk, we’re a team of humans who practice conscious consumption ourselves, but we also know how important it is to know what cycles we’re perpetuating or breaking with the products we make.

Here are some of our current sustainability efforts:

Material Innovation

We’ve teamed up with partners, like REPREVE and BLUMAKA. REPREVE turns plastic water bottles into fibers that can be used to make shoes. Through this process, over 25 million plastic water bottles have been repurposed. BLUMAKA repurposes waste foam into new midsoles and insoles for shoes, instead of that scrap being sent to the landfill. 

Thoughtful Materials

Wherever we can, we use materials like hemp, organic cotton and responsibly-sourced leather to lessen our impact. “We are constantly evaluating our materials and their environmental impacts so we can guide our brands to make better, more preferred selections,” says Brooke Beshai, Director of Sustainability, Deckers Brands.

There’s Lots More To Do

We know there’s more to do. We’re holding ourselves accountable through a Corporate Responsibility Program. Partnered with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a corporate sustainability initiative, and commit to conducting business at the highest standards for human rights, environmental practices, and labor standards.

“While we each have an obligation to help mitigate the effects of climate change, we believe we can use our scale, along with others in our industry, to fight climate change,” says Brooke Beshai.

Our partnership with the Surfrider Foundation is a part of an ongoing commitment to help people and planet. If you’d like to learn more about our partnership, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about Sanuk and Decker’s Brands commitment to corporate responsibility, click here