Sustainability at Lo & Sons Next section Our mission is to inspire and empower people to go places, while striving to leave a positive impact. Our Priorities 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. As a brand committed to sustainability, we’re always evolving and progressing our practices and we’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far. In 2018, 15% of our products were made with eco-friendly materials. Our goal is to double that amount by 2020. Our Products Recycled Poly Collection Our Recycled Poly Collection features a technical fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Recycled Poly is as durable and functional as traditional polyester, but has a lower environmental impact by reducing our dependence on petroleum and cutting back on toxic emissions from incinerators. Learn more Organic Canvas Collection Our Organic Canvas Collection is made from limited-supply cotton, grown without pesticides or chemicals. This farming method reduces environmental harm by preventing eutrophication, a buildup of nitrogen in bodies of water that threatens fish and plant life. The resulting textile is better for the planet and for you (it’s all-natural and less likely to irritate your skin). Learn more As we expand our product line, we’re excited to incorporate even more eco-friendly materials. We hope to start packing our products in biodegradable poly bags, which will break down completely in landfills, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. For select products, we plan to start using sustainable materials made from plant-based fibers. These materials contain no animal products and are biodegradable. For our nylon laptop bags, we aim to switch to 37.4% recycled nylon, which is created using post-consumer and discarded nylon. Our Partners Sustainable Apparel Coalition We’ve joined our industry’s leading alliance for sustainable production, which provides tools to help us improve our sustainability practices, achieve transparency, and address inefficiencies in our value chain. The Renewal Workshop We’ve partnered with The Renewal Workshop, the leading provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands. 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. 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. Our Challenges 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 our in-office 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.