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