Poppy Barley

SUSTAINABILITY
REPORT

2017

Updated: April 23, 2018

SUSTAINABILITY
REPORT

2017

Updated: April 23, 2018

We created this sustainability report as a means to transparently share Poppy Barley’s social and environmental goals and—in a year’s time—the results. We believe in sustainable fashion and in driving Poppy Barley towards a more sustainable future. As a business, we believe that social and environmental objectives matter as much as profits and happy customers. We believe this is the future of fashion and the only way forward.

This is (and we are) not perfect. However, with incremental steps and relentless focus, we will change the fashion industry.

B Corp

Achieve B Corp certification.


B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Almost There

Almost There
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: B Corps application is submitted. Using the B Impact Assessment tool, we evaluated every aspect of Poppy Barley as it relates to governance, people, community, environment and customers. We pushed ourselves to score the highest possible in every category—not just meet the minimum requirements. This required new approaches, screening tools and partnerships with factories. The next step in becoming a B Corps is assessment review with B Lab Staff.

One Percent back to our communities in Canada and Mexico

Donate 1% of sales back to our communities.


In Canada, we will donate 0.5% of sales each quarter to a different not-for-profit partner. For 2017, we have chosen The Heart and Stroke Foundation (Q1), Norquest College (Q2), Habitat for Humanity (Q3) and the Mazankowski Heart Centre (Q4).

In Mexico (where are manufacture), 0.5% of sales is going directly back to the craftspeople who make our shoes. (We also ensure all our factories offer a living wage, and we pay, on average, six times the region’s minimum wage.)

Achieved

ACHIEVED
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: We met our goal of donating 1% of sales back into our communities but execution looked different. In Canada, we donated to Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of Edmonton, Heart & Stroke Foundation (Calgary), Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and various donations for International Women’s Day. In Mexico, we gave directly to the craftspeople making our shoes and donated to Mexico Red Cross when the earthquake hit central Mexico. Learn more about our Charity Partners here.

All our factories will exceed our Code of Conduct

Ensure that 100% of our factories meet or exceed our Code of Conduct for working conditions.


We screen all our factories to ensure they provide their artisans with a living wage; permanent, secure employment; paid vacation; pensions; and health care benefits. We help them achieve this by providing continuous work at fair labour prices. Having dedicated Poppy Barley staff in Mexico means we make weekly—if not daily—visits to our four factories, and therefore stay connected to our makers and production practices.

We also ensure safe and clean working conditions, respected workers’ rights (right to unionize, right to freedom of movement, etc.) and have zero tolerance for any human rights abuse such as child labour, slave labour, discrimination etc.

Achieved

ACHIEVED
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: We achieved this goal for all of our factories. We developed a rigorous Factory Code of Conduct tool based on the International Labour Organization core labour standards and the laws in the countries where we operate. Our Code of Conduct outlines our policies on the following topics:

  • Child Labour
  • Forced Labour
  • Wages & Benefits
  • Overtime Wages
  • Hours of Work
  • Working Conditions
  • Harassment, Abuse and Disciplinary Practices
  • Rights & Freedoms, including Women’s Rights
  • Discrimination
  • Health and Safety

We screen factories by visiting the factory, interviewing the factory owner and select employees, and by auditing a random selection of payroll and personnel files.

All tanneries dispose of waste properly and recycle water

Ensure that 100% of our leather tanneries clean the water used in the tanning process and dispose of hazardous waste properly.


Leather is tanned using a significant amount of water and chemicals. Our goal will ensure water is cleaned (to the extent it can go back into the public water reserves) and chemicals properly disposed of.

Achieved

ACHIEVED
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: We verified that all of our tanneries follow this standard.

Our main tannery also invested in a further piece of equipment that provides a clarifying process to create a ‘sludge’ of the chemical solids. The chemical can then be dehydrated and reused as part of their commitment to the life cycle analysis. Our tannery is obtaining ISO 14001 certification. ISO 14001 focuses on environmental systems and specific approaches such as audits, communications, labelling and life cycle analysis, as well as environmental challenges such as climate change. All of our tannery’s leathers meet the highest environmental standards for California, as well as the more stringent standards in place in Europe.

Our other tannery is Bronze Certified by the Leather Working Group, which is a global environmental certification for tanneries.

Ground shipping

Ship 75% of all goods via ground transport to reduce the environmental impact of air freight.


Transport of goods is often the single largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 emissions are much higher in air freight transport than ground freight transport.

Incomplete

INCOMPLETE
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: Upon researching this option, we discovered ground transportation was not a viable option for all of our business at this stage. While we ship ground across Canada and the USA (for about 50% of our total shipping output), shipping via ground transport from Mexico to Canada was significantly more expensive and very slow. It requires far longer lead times on product, which doesn’t support our lean inventory system. We want to maintain smaller batch manufacturing because it allows us to respond to our customer needs and limit excess inventory, ultimately cutting down on waste.

In 2018 we plan to do a carbon cycle analysis of our product so we can determine and compare our full environmental impact.

Reusable or recycled packaging made from recycled materials

Ensure that 100% of packaging is reusable, or made from recycled material and is recyclable.


A lot of things end up in the trash—packaging shouldn’t be one of them. Our goal is to use all reusable packaging (e.g. used as grocery bags), or use packaging that’s made from recycled material and is recyclable (e.g. boxes).

Acheived

ACHIEVED
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: By the end of 2017, 90% of our packaging was reusable or made from recycled materials and is itself recyclable. Our shoe boxes are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Our dust bags are designed to be reused to store your shoes, and our shopping bags are made from 100% recycled pulp material. Where we failed to meet our target is with our mailers for shipping e-commerce orders. We sourced EcoEnclose 100% Recycled Poly mailers for smaller shipments, but could not find a supplier that offered recycled mailers large enough for boots and accessories. Any supplier we found requested minimums that far exceeded the size of our company.

Commuter policy

Activate a staff commuter policy that encourages walking, biking, carpooling or the use of public transit at least 25% of the time.


While our product makes the biggest impact on the environment, we can all do our part by choosing greener ways of getting to work. As a company, we are incentivizing this behaviour: Every staff trip that qualifies is an entry in a draw for a quarterly prize (like a new bike!).

Incomplete

Incomplete
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: We activated a staff commuter policy and tracked all commutes to work for 4-months. Then we stopped. This one failed due to internal management.

Volunteer policy

Activate a volunteer policy that supports 20 hours of paid volunteer time, per full-time employee, at an organization of their choosing.


We believe in giving our time too, so we are supporting all full-time employees with 20 paid hours per year to volunteer at an organization of their choice. We are also implementing company volunteer days at the organizations we support through our Donations Policy (see 2017’s quarterly not-for-profits outlined in Goal #2).

Achieved

ACHIEVED
APRIL 23, 2018

Status: Last year, our team spent 222 hours volunteering in our community for a variety of organizations and charity initiatives, including a day volunteering as a team for a Habitat for Humanity build in our community.

SHOP WOMEN’S

SHOP MEN’S