World of Barefoot

18 March 2021

Vivobarefoot: the B Corp™ business going feet first into regeneration

Vivobarefoot: the B Corp™ business going feet first into regeneration

Our sedentary, cushioned lifestyles are making us and the planet sick: at Vivobarefoot we believe radical action is needed to restore and regenerate both people and planet.

That’s why joining the B Corp™ family of global businesses balancing purpose and profit to make a positive impact is so important to us; independently certifying what we have achieved while ensuring we continue to do more.

Our work now is to build a truly regenerative business where everything we do is a net positive for feet, people and planet.

We are already doing this through the thin, wide and flexible barefoot footwear we create to reconnect people to their feet, bodies and the natural world.

But a regenerative business must also shake up the status quo to build new systems, new thinking and create a new energy for a new way of life.

For this reason we launched The Livebarefoot Foundation as our in-house incubation hub for research and enterprise-based, regenerative solutions that bring people closer to nature.

From helping create the first professional-standard skate park in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to trialing a seaweed farm off the south coast of England and working to continue the wisdom of indigenous shoe-making with the Future Footwear Foundation, our long-term goal is to be the world’s leading impact investment hub for regeneration.

It is also why we have launched our first-ever fully integrated annual report which makes our regenerative targets equal to our financial ones; it is radically open and transparent about every aspect of our business.

Design Director and Founder, Asher Clark and Emma Hamilton-Foster, Head of Sustainability on building a regenerative business:

 

Q: What does regenerative footwear mean to you:

 

ASHER: Perfect footwear is regenerative for people and planetary health, and this all starts by simply trying to make as little shoe as possible so your feet do their natural thing! Our functional footwear allows for functional, healthy movement and this is net positive for the regenerative nature of Vivobarefoot. Completely regenerative footwear means all materials used and their end of life solutions would need to be circular – as in, everything can be used to create more footwear over and over again – and this is ‘still’ our massive challenge!!

Q: What role has B Corp played in Vivobarefoot’s regenerative journey?

EMMA: We took over a year to go through the B Corp certification process, as we spent a lot of time making sure we took every aspect of the programme seriously. It allowed us to put a lot structure in behind the scenes (think policies and procedures) that took Vivobarefoot’s sustainability programme to the next level. It is both an important part of both our integrated corporate reporting programme which holds us accountable against a range of industry standards, and our initiatives to engage with our global consumer community.

Q: What is the value in Vivobarefoot going through B Corp process for customers?

 EMMA: The biggest value add for the customer is the level of trust that they can put into the certification. It is the leading mark of sustainability for companies around the world and includes a rigorous assessment and certification processes. For customers it means that they don’t have to check if a brand is green-washing or healthy-washing. All the information around a B Corp certified company’s performance can be independently verified on the B Corp website and they are all held to the highest standards.

ASHER: We know this process will help us in creating truly regenerative footwear and experiences for our customers new and old. This is our north star and we are very tough on ourselves when we are marking our own homework!