How our B Corp certification speeds us towards regeneration
Chunky, padded trainers and shoes contain lots of stuff. Mainly chunky, padded stuff. And most of that stuff ends up as waste. But even the waste from ‘minimal’ barefoot footwear is too much. There is no such thing as ‘away’ when we throw stuff ‘away’.
At Vivobarefoot we are on a mission to create as little shoe as possible. The less shoe we make the better it is for natural movement and the planet. Less is more after all, but simply being better isn’t a goal, it’s what happens as a result of chasing a bold product mission. Ours is - Regenerative bare-footwear – regenerative to feet, human movement and planetary health - let’s break it down...
‘Regenerative’ a tricky word and literally means to renew after loss or damage; ‘bare-footwear’- you wear footwear (or go barefoot), instead of conventional shoes, literally reconnecting your feet to your brain, regaining natural strength and mobility from the ground up! The interconnection between people and planetary health has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, we just have to get back to it.
"So completely regenerative footwear needs to be perfect for feet and like nature from conception need to be circular with end of life solutions’" says chief designer officer, Asher Clark. ‘"Circular materials can be used to make products over and over again – just like nature does it."
“Having been through the initial B Corp certification process, we know it will help us move towards creating truly regenerative footwear and experiences for our customers new and old.”
As a result of the B Corp process, every product Vivo designs and produces is evaluated against what we call our V-Matrix. We started building this tool in 2019 with support from a group of experts. It helps us work out if each new product is as regenerative as it can possibly be. Now we evaluate all products to make sure that they deliver for the health of human feet – as well as scoring the credentials of materials, and conditions for workers in the supply chains.
The V Matrix has also pushed us towards gender neutral designs and multi-use products. This means less products to do more things (which in turn creates less waste).
Finally, we work out what will happen to products at the end of their life – can they be repaired? Recycled? It is a constant process to reduce materials and processes to be able to do more, with less.
The B Corporation evaluation process forces businesses to look at the bigger picture and how much transparency there is in your value chain. We have plenty of room for improvement. But that’s all part of journey – and learning, improving and changing bad habits (including our own!) is what Vivo is all about.
Our 2021 impact report has more details.
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