Our mission is to inspire and empower people to go places, while leaving a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet.
At our core, we’re a company that wants to see our customers out in the world: exploring, connecting, working, and discovering. And while we obsess over the design and functionality of our products, we’re equally concerned with our larger impact as a business.
For us, it’s not enough to “do no harm” when it comes to environmental impact. We are part of a growing movement that believes businesses can actually lead the way in reversing environmental damage and creating innovative solutions. We’re always seeking ways to improve our supply chain and the lifecycle of our products.
We also know that you, our customers, are conscientious and uncompromising, and you expect the same from the brands you support. As a business, we’re in it for the long run—and to us, that means honoring our planet and the people with whom we share it.
In 2018, 15% of our products were made with eco-friendly materials.
In 2019, our goal was to double that amount and we were right on track at 33%.
In 2020, we increased the percentage of products made with eco-friendly materials to 44%.
For 2021, we are on track to increase this percentage to over 50%.
Our goal is to increase that amount to 75% by 2023.
Our Products & Materials
Shop our entire collection of products made with eco-friendly materials here.
As we expand our product line, we’re excited to incorporate even more eco-friendly materials.
For select products, we hope to start using sustainable materials made from plant-based fibers. These materials are high quality and contain no animal products.
In 2020 we launched a brand new product, the Beacon backpack, that is made from 37.4% recycled nylon. This recycled nylon is created using post-consumer and discarded nylon. In the next year our objective is to move to a 100% recycled nylon.
Starting in 2021, we will be transitioning to exclusively using 100% Certified Organic Cotton for our canvas Catalina collection. Doing so will encourage species biodiversity in local ecosystems.
In 2020 all of our Nappa leather went to a silver-rated tannery but in 2021 we are moving to gold-rated status audited by the Leather Working Group. This guarantees hides to be sourced in the most sustainable way and using Leather Working Group certified suppliers allows us to trace our supply chain.
Our signature hummingbird lining is getting a sustainable facelift. As of 2020, we started implementing a weave composed of 50% recycled polyester and will continue to use this material for all future orders.
We are excited about some major packaging updates that have been made in the past year.
We are proud to say that all of our poly bags are 100% recyclable and we encourage customers to reuse packaging materials for alternative uses - like storage, groceries, etc. We are hoping to find poly bags that are made from 100% recycled plastic this year.
Shipping Boxes & Mailers
We’ve found innovative new ways to package our products in custom sized boxes and mailers going out to customers so that the carbon footprint per package is reduced and is also more cost efficient. These new packaging products are made from 100% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable.
We are actively trying to reduce the amount of protective packaging on our products (without risking damage to the bags) and have made some major strides this past year. We have removed all of our foam packaging in our wallets, removed plastic coverings on almost all of our zipper pulls and now use less plastic bubble filler when shipping products to customers thanks to our custom boxes/mailers.
The Renewal Workshop
As of 2020, we officially partnered with The Renewal Workshop, the leading provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands. With their help, we have stopped over 2,500 pounds of textile waste from reaching landfills to date. Based in Cascade Locks, Oregon, the Renewal Workshop operates a zero waste circular system, recovering the full value of items already created. We are excited to have found an organization that can repair and renew damaged bags and rethink the possibilities for our products’ lifecycle.
Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY)
Our cofounder (and one of the sons), Jan Lo, was invited to serve on the Advisory Board of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, which trains and empowers future leaders to develop "business solutions to systemic environmental problems" from the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. With this group, Jan is currently helping to advise on a range of projects, such as how emerging technology can help to address environmental sustainability challenges.
We are very excited to participate in a Pilot program for a new service called Kept SKU. Based on the East Coast, Kept SKU works with brands to create delightfully curated surprise shopping boxes that are composed of a mix of unsold inventory that would otherwise be sent to the landfill or sit on warehouse storage shelves for years. The service also helps and provides transparent recycling paths for the inventory they can’t sell. As circularity becomes ever more important, the services Kept SKU offers are vital solutions for brands and they provide exciting new shopping opportunities for value-drive customers.
Prioritizing sustainability can be complicated and costly. As a small, family-owned business, we know that our commitment to sustainability means that we will sometimes sacrifice opportunities or revenue in order to be responsible, and we’re proud to do that. Today, our primary challenges are:
We can’t do it all—at least not right now.
While we expand our sustainable practices, we know it will take time to integrate sustainability into all elements of our business—from our supply chain to fulfillment operations. As a small business, we need to prioritize rigorously. To do so, we’ve created an internal sustainability board that ensures we’re progressing and pushing ourselves to be ambitious. For example, we are working towards becoming a B Certified business (B Corp), which would mean we’ve met “the highest standards of verified environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.”
Tradeoffs are inevitable.
Materials like “vegan leather” are great for those looking to avoid animal products, but they’re not harmless. Many vegan leathers (specifically PVC) are a form of plastic; therefore, they aren’t biodegradable and they can contain harmful chemicals that damage the environment. For now, we’ve opted to use traditional leather over vegan leather, but we continue to research emerging resources that offer a promise of sustainability, are non-toxic, and allow us to uphold the high standard of quality that defines our products. Internally, we have to weigh this kind of tension when choosing materials, and we always prioritize with our customers’ best interests in mind.
Our Ongoing Commitment
When it comes to sustainability, we’re excited to build on our current momentum. We look forward to having a dynamic dialogue with our customers about our strategy, so don’t hold back. Questions? Suggestions? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for more info? Read the latest company updates in our 2021 Sustainability Progress Report.