Fashion can be the oddest thing! When moving the office of our Studio to a larger space a few months back I went on a regular tirade of anti-materialism. Anything deemed not instantly useful was purged with impunity. How one accumulates so much useless crap in the first place is really beyond me!
Anyhow while on this rampage I picked up this little sticker, and would have tossed it but for an odd prompting not to. The sticker proceeded to clutter my desk for a few days before I determined to know what the F a Volcom Stone is anyway?!? The image made me suspect hallucinogens.
To my surprise (and almost immediate recognition of the logo) Volcom Stone is not the latest party drug, but a clothing brand established in 1991, and deeply rooted in riding (skateboards, surfboards, snowboards etc) culture.
While such a brand would usually not hold my attention for long, I obviously looked into their sustainability policies, and think I’ve found the type of company we want to be in 5 years’ time.
Plus they have some kiff fashion in-between the surfer shorts ;) Volcom states that throughout their business they are actively addressing environmental and social impacts with a commitment to responsible manufacturing practices, better fiber sourcing, robust impact evaluation, and meaningful give backs. Their sustainability policies focus on three things:
First, strong oceans, which makes sense for a surfing brand. Second, a stable climate, and third a smart society. It’s this last one that I think is the most important, since business cannot exist without the consumer. Business will provide whatever it is the consumer demands, and if we use our purchasing power wisely there is little the fashion industry wont do to please us.
Of course it is difficult to really know what this brand is up to from the outside, but it’s great that they’re ensuring this important aspect of the industry is front and center to their brand awareness. The site Rateabrand.org gives Volcom a “C” rating. Although the rubric is decidedly pointed and somewhat (one might say) ultra left, there were two interesting questions I thought I’d share.
Question 7. Does the brand have a clear and effective policy to avoid the use of leather that originates from cattle farms in deforestated Amazone areas? [sic]
…as if other deforested areas around the globe are irrelevant; or as if deforestation were the only crime caused by the use of leather…also, that’s the actual spelling they use in their questionnaire…wtf is this site anyway?!?
Question 14 response: Volcom implements measures to minimize the environmental impact of its consumer packaging, such as using recycled and / or certified paper materials for its packaging material.
This is really one of my pet peeves, and to date only Nomadic State of Mind has (in my sustainable shopping experience) been more serious about the sustainability of their product (including packaging) than their image as a fashion commodity.
I’ve been lurking around Volcom’s site and other retailers that stock their products, and decided to give at least one item a try…since I love judging fashion more than I love almost anything in this life!!
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