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Consuming less

3 minute read

The most effective way to reduce the impact of Clothing and Footwear on the environment is to consume less. Even the greenest garment creates some environmental impact, using resources for production and transport.

We want consumers to buy only things that they love, that are well made, treasured and kept, used until they are worn out.

People buy more stuff than they need, and much of this is the result of over-production.

Conventional businesses over-produce because they don’t know what will sell. As a rule, a conventional retailer won’t be able to sell 30% of what it buys. Another 30% can only be sold when marked down, and the deeper the mark down, the quicker to landfill. When buying products offered at ‘70% Off’, the consumer is buying the price more than they are buying the product. When there’s less love for the product it has a shorter life.

Over-production means waste, the scourge of the environment

The Spirit Difference

Our business model means that we don’t over-produce - we only make what we have already sold.

We don’t take risk by carrying lots of styles. We are starting with three. As our volumes grow, we will add more styles, but there will never be many, just the ones that we know will sell year after year.

We don’t take risk on colour or design. In Footwear, with so many size and width options, design or colour risk inevitably means heavy mark-downs. That’s one reason why Footwear choice is limited.

Spirit prints onto white ‘blank’ shoes after you have bought or created your design. This means that we can offer the most exciting, individual and unique designs which we know that our customers love because they haven’t been bought on mark-down.

The Right Materials

We are doing what we can on materials.

We use recycled polycanvas. These are capable of being recycled again, but currently there are no facilities available in the U.K. or Europe to do this. When there are, we will incentivise customers to return worn-out shoes to us to make sure they are genuinely recycled.

Unfortunately, the steaming mountains of unwanted Clothing & Footwear in West Africa that you may have seen on TV is some people’s idea of recycling.

We use vulcanised rubber soles. They are more expensive than injected EVA but not only are they more comfortable and durable but being a natural material rubber, it is sustainable. It will eventually biodegrade, but can also be recycled into items such as doormats, buckets, playground cushions, and incorporated into asphalt for road surfaces.

Our boxes are made of recycled cardboard.


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