Sustainability is not a trend, but conscious consumerism and conscious capitalism unfortunately may be. Or at least they are buzzy words that investors like to throw around and founders like to put in decks when raising capital from those same investors. But GREATS is in this for the long haul because doing what's right is what we do at GREATS.Talking about the environment as a trend is like talking about the air you breath as a trend, but I digress.
GREATS has always operated with sustainable practices in mind, but that does not make GREATS a 100% sustainable company. And it's NOT because I am a dyed in the wool environmentalist, but because the practices simply make sense. Why would anyone one knowingly and deliberately do maximum harm to the earth if there were simple things we could do to lessen the damage to the earth? GREATS has never used single use plastics in our packaging. There was a time when we were making "beautiful" boxes, which looked incredible but came at an environmental cost that it just didn't make sense to continue making them. So we switched to reclaimed cardboard that is minimally printed using soy inks, which makes GREATS boxes biodegradable. I believe that in order to get the best quality, you need to work with factories that maintain standards for the workers as well as the environment. Treating factory workers like shit in order to get a better price is not something we've ever done. Of course the most "sustainable" thing we can do is make something that lasts a long time and resists style trends. Fast fashion trends that are here today gone tomorrow and cheap materials that don't last very long are very damaging to the earth. GREATS is built on the idea that consumers should buy better but buy less. The reality is the "hype" business is damaging to the earth. Those sneakers that look so incredible are made with petroleum based synthetics, low quality materials, all to make something that looks cool, but takes it's toll on the earth. It's much harder to design something with less than with more. Recently we've begun using Bloom algae foam in our insoles. Algae is the hoover vacuum for water cleansing and grows fast making it a highly sustainable organism. It also makes for a dam comfy insole. Our recycled knit Royale is made from recycled plastics and while the process of recycling plastic is more expensive than making it new, it does less damage to the earth than going the cheaper route, which is to use virgin plastics. There is always a trade off in cost....and most of the time the cheaper thing is the more harmful thing. In our journey to continue to become a more responsible company, we are releasing our Royale Eco Canvas, our most sustainable sneaker yet. The entire sneaker from the lasting board to the laces is made of GRS Certified reclaimed materials. We stitched the eyelets using GRS Certified reclaimed threading instead of using virgin thread, a metal or plastic eyelet. And of course the upper is made from GRS Certified recycled cotton canvas, light, breathable, timeless, washable, comfortable. All things that can't be sacrificed for a GREATS style. At $99 it's our most accessibly priced style in the franchise and I think it may quickly become our #1 seller.
GREATS is not a sustainable company, but we are a responsible one. I hope you appreciate our attempt to do the right thing when you're considering your next sneaker purchase and remember that "hype" has a cost.
Consider yourself informed