How sustainable are your favourite brands?

News, blog and backgrounds about the sustainability scores of brands

Chocolate could be more pure

We start off 2016 with our newest ranking of the chocolate sector. The results range from an A label (best performance) to an E label (worst performance) and are mixed. Similar to most sectors, most brands do not score higher than a D label. On the other hand, four brands receive an A label. These brands consist of the Austrian brand Zotter, German brand GEPA and Dutch brands Tony’s Chocolonely and Fair Trade Original. Luckily, some of these brands are also available outside of their home countries.

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The top performers
Of the A label brands mentioned above, Zotter is the absolute number one. This brand receives 22 out of a possible 28 points. Because of organic and Fairtrade certifications, the brand performs very well on environmental policy and labour conditions. GEPA, Tony’s Chocolonely, and Fair Trade Original all receive 21 points and share the second place. Similar to Zotter they perform very well on environmental policy and labour conditions because their chocolate is Fairtrade certified. When it comes to climate policy, the brands should work on increasing their scores even further by publishing more information on their carbon emissions.

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Four brands receive the second highest label, the B label, and show they are well on their way towards sustainable chocolate. These brands consist of Green & Black’s, the German brands ForestFinest and Die Gute Schokolade, and the Dutch brand Bio Plus. All brands carry at least a Fairtrade certification, and Green & Black’s and Bio Plus are also fully organic.

The general trend
Besides these top brands, the majority of the brands show too little effort when it comes to their performance on climate and environmental policies and on labour conditions. Most of the well-known chocolate brands reside in this group. On the other hand, many of these brands do at least show some steps on the road towards sustainability. With the majority of brands in the chocolate sector receiving a D label, the second lowest grade, this sector performs better than most sectors, where most brands are stuck in the lowest grade, the E label.

Of these brands, four receive a reasonable score with a C label, namely the Dutch brands de Ruijter, Venz, Chocomel, and Jamin, of which the first two are now owned by Heinz. All four perform reasonably well in the areas of environmental policy and labour conditions. This is because all of them carry the UTZ certificate for most, if not all, of their products. The largest group of D label brands are all part ofthree major international companies: Nestlé (with brands like KitKat and Rolo), Mars (which, besides Mars, also consists of brands like Twix, M&M’s, and Snickers), and Ferrero (with brands like Ferrero Rocher and Nutella). All of these brands often carry some certificate (Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and/or UTZ Certified) for part of their products and therefore receive some points. Nevertheless, these brands still have a long way to go to become truly sustainable. This is even more true for brands receiving the lowest E label, among which are well-known brands such as Milka, Toblerone, and Leonidas.

Help purify chocolate
The complete list of this research can be found on the overview page of chocolate brands. Of course we like to see better results, so look up your favorite brand and nudge it in the right direction. This can be done by sending them a message through their page on our website.

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Casual clothes are seldom sustainable

At the start of 2015, we’ve adapted more stringent criteria for the clothing sectors. Now, twelve months and over 400 clothing brands later, we publish the results of the final clothing sector we have ranked: casual clothing. Similar to what we have seen in the other sectors, many brands do not live up to the demands of our improved criteria. In general, the casual clothing sector shows lower scores and none of the brands receive an A label anymore. Nevertheless, multiple brands still show to be well on their way to being more sustainable.

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Eight frontrunners
Among the more than 80 brands in the casual clothing sector, there are eight frontrunners scoring a B label: the British brand People Tree and the German brands Kollateralschaden, Hessnatur, Waschbär, armedangels, Bleed, Greenality, and Recolution, many of which are available outside of Germany as well. These brands especially perform well in the areas of environmental policy and labour conditions. Kollateralschaden stands out because its entire production takes place in Berlin. Because of this, the brand receives a score of 100% for labour conditions, which is a rare achievement.

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One of the most important problems in the fashion industry is the bad labour conditions for factory workers. Only at Kollateralschaden payment of a living wage during apparel manufacturing can be considered realized, as this brands manufacturers in Germany only. Furthermore, four brands publish a list of suppliers, namely Kollateralschaden (its own atelier), best online casino People Tree, Recolution, and Monki (part of H&M). Publishing this data shows that these brands commit to transparency and oblige themselves to respond to misconduct in the factories of their suppliers. Through this data, interested third parties are able to research independently if these brands indeed follow labour regulations. Finally, all frontrunners stand out because of their use of environmentally friendly materials. Knowledge Cotton Apparel also uses at least 90% environmentally preferred materials. These are materials like organic cotton and linen, or recycled materials made from cotton, nylon or plastic bottles.

Taking a step back
Because of the more stringent criteria, almost every brand receives a lower score on our sustainability index. A majority (approximately 90%) of brands receives a C label or lower. Sixty-six percent even receives the lowest score, the E label. Because of this low performance, we advise not to purchase these brands until they show improvements. Many brands do not or barely report on reducing their carbon emissions, banning hazardous chemicals, using environmentally friendlier packaging materials, or reducing waste. Among the worst performing brands we find names like French Connection, CarharttStone Island, Lands’ End, and Fossil. We hope these brands take an example of the frontrunners, who prove that a different approach is possible.

Free fall Freitag
Freitag recently experienced a drastic fall in its sustainability performance. This Swiss brand strongly increased in popularity over the last years and moved part of its production from Switserland to riskier countries like Bulgaria and Tunisia. Unfortunately, Freitag does not yet communicate about labour conditions in the factories in these countries. Because of this, the brand now received a D label instead of an A label. The Dutch brands Cora Kemperman and Gaastra showed similar reductions in their results. Cora Kemperman’s score decreased from a B label to a D label and Gaastra’s score went from a C label to an E label.

Help make sustainability more fashionable
While there are a couple of positive exceptions, the whole casual clothing sector performs poorly. The complete list of this research can be found on the overview page of casual clothing. We of course like to see better results, so look up your brand and nudge it in the right direction. This can be done by sending them a message through their page on our website.

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Sustainability is sexy, but is sexy also sustainable?

Sustainability is long past the image of tree huggers and hippies. Sustainability is hip and sexy. But is sexy also sustainable? Rank a Brand’s latest research on 24 underwear and lingerie brands shows that sometimes it is, but definitely not always. Four brands that make such products show that sustainability and sexy can go hand in hand. Nevertheless, as with most clothing sectors, the majority of brands making underwear and lingerie perform badly when it comes to climate, environment and labour conditions.

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The frontrunners
One label received the highest label on our performance list, which runs from A label (best score) to E label (worst score): the Dutch brand Saint Basics. With this score, consumers can be sure that they are purchasing a top performing brand with respect to sustainability and labour conditions. Two other brands, Pants to Poverty and the German brand Minga Berlin, receive the second best label, the B label. The brands respectively score 24, 22, and 19 points out of a maximum of 31. While Saint Basics and Minga Berlin are local brands, they are available through online shopping and ship to many countries outside of their home country as well. Another German brand that is also available online, von Jungfeld, shows a reasonable performance. With 15 points, the brand receives a C label (reasonable performance, but could still do better).

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The first three brands all perform well in the areas of environmentally certified materials and labour conditions. Saint Basics and Pants to Poverty both use only organic cotton, while Minga Berlin almost reached that point (around 70-80%). Furthermore, all products from all three brands are GOTS certified. Besides guaranteeing better environmental performance, this certification also means that labour conditions during production are monitored and improved. Pants to Poverty and Saint Basics are also working to increase the wages of their employees in low wage countries. Pants to Poverty is even working on a project for a living wage (a wage that a labourer can live well of and is often much higher than the minimum wage). However, the results of this project are not yet published.

The remaining brands
Apart from the four brands mentioned above, only one brand shows a bit more attention to sustainability: Hunkemöller. This brand scores 5 points, thereby receiving a D label. This label means that Hunkemöller has set its first steps on the path toward more sustainability in its production, but still has a long way to go. Just like in most sectors, in the underwear and lingerie sector, the large majority of brands fall behind. Of the 24 brands we examined, 19 fall in the lowest category, the E label. Brands in this category include Björn Borg, Triumph, Sloggi, Victoria’s Secret, and Jockey. We recommend consumers not to buy these brands until they show more readiness to incorporate sustainability in their production processes.

Help make sustainability even sexier
The list of examined brands can be found on the overview page of lingerie and underwear brands. By clicking on a brand, you can find more information about our criteria. Furthermore, you can use this page to send a message to the brand to stimulate it to sell more sustainable and fairer clothes.

To keep doing our research, we could really use your support. Besides contributing as a responsible consumer that purchases more sustainable alternatives through our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

More expensive brands not necessarily more sustainable

For many cheap clothing brands, you might wonder if the low price means that the environment and labour conditions of labourers in low wage countries will suffer. In general this seems to be the case. Sadly, this does not mean that when you pay a premium price for a piece of clothing, it automatically means the environment and labour conditions are improved. From our latest research of 38 premium clothing brands on their performance with respect to climate, environment, and labour conditions, we can conclude that most of these brands hardly perform better than their cheaper competitors.

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The results
Just like in the cheaper sectors, such as the large retailers, premium brands show little effort when it comes to sustainability. Only one brand receives the C label (scoring 13 out of 31 points): COS, one of the brands of fashion giant H&M Group. This score means the brand is performing reasonably with regard to the environment and labour conditions. While both COS and H&M received a B label in our previous ranking, they did not manage to maintain this score. This also has to do with the fact that we made our criteria more stringent. This is because we like to see that brands keep trying to perform better each year.

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COS receives points for its casino online first steps toward reducing its carbon emissions, making use of environmentally prefered materials (14% in 2014), reducing harmful chemicals, and working toward achieving fairer labour conditions in factories in low wage countries. To achieve this latter issue, H&M Group also became member of the Fair Labour Association and the Ethical Trading Initiative. These organizations are committed to improving labour conditions.

The laggards
Unfortunately, the remaining brands do not perform as well. Seven brands receive the second lowest grade, the D label. This label was achieved by the brands Acne, Claudia Sträter, Marimekko, Marc O’Polo, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger. These brands show some first steps when it comes to incorporating sustainability in their company policy, but still have a long road ahead of them. Of these brands, Acne receives the highest score (9 out of 31 points) and comes in second. Third place is shared by Claudia Sträter and Marimekko. Both brands scored 8 points.

The remaining 30 brands remain stuck at the lowest grade, the E label. These brands hardly or do not show any performance with respect to sustainability. We therefore recommend consumers not to buy these brands until they show better results. Examples of brands in this group of laggards are: McGregor, Gant, Benetton, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Michael Kors.

Help get sustainability into fashion
Before people say that it apparently does not matter which clothes you buy, because it is all just as unsustainable; this is not the case. Research in other sectors by Rank a Brand shows that there certainly are brands that perform better. To find an overview of such brands, you can visit our website, for example the overview page of all clothing brands. By purchasing these better performing brands, you support an upward trend to fairer and cleaner clothes.

You can find the list of the brands we’ve examined on the overview page of premium brands. By clicking a brand, you can find more information on our rating. Through these brand pages, you can also send the brand a message to stimulate them to perform better.

To do the work we do, we could really use your help. Besides your support as a responsible consumer making conscious choices in your clothing purchases, you can also support us financially or volunteer to help in our research. Do you want to stay up to date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Soft drinks not so soft for environment and labor conditions

Most soft drink brands show little ambition when it comes to the use of fair trade and environmentally certified ingredients, reduction of packaging, waste and water usage, and climate impact. Let alone that these brands show some actual results. Luckily, there are some exceptions that are performing better. One would expect that a sector that depends so much on water as its main resource to be more careful with water.

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Front runners

For our latest ranking we assessed 30 soft drinks brand. Top performer of this list is Lemonaid. This small German brand is the only brand with a B label, with a score of 14 out of 24. Another German brand, Bionade, scores reasonably well with 11 out of 24, sufficient for a C label.

Lemonaid performs well on labor conditions, by using Fair Trade and environmentally certified ingredients. However, Lemonaid doesn’t provide clear information on the reduction of its carbon and water footprints, so there is still room for improvement in that area. For Bionade, it is the other way around. This pioneer in organic soda has a good score on climate impact and performs pretty well on environmental aspects, but low on labor conditions due to a lack of information. What a great score would these brands achieve if they were able to combine each other’s strengths. Bionade has improved its label from D to C, as a result of increased transparency by issuing their first CSR report.

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Disappointing performance of large brands 

The performance of the large soda brands is disappointing. More than half of the assessed brands, including Dr Pepper, Red Bull, and Rivella, get the lowest label: E. This label means that these brands show little or no interest in sustainability and fair trade. We advise consumers not to buy these brands until they have improved their policies and performance.

Ten other brands have taken first steps and get the D label. These include 7UP, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Pepsi. Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprit, all brands of the Coca-Cola company, have lost their C label. This was caused by the application of stricter criteria for the use of fair trade and environmentally certified ingredients, packaging and waste. Rank a Brand keeps setting the bar higher, because we feel that brands should continuously improve on sustainability and fair trade. Unfortunately, this is not shown by the large brands.

Help us to improve sustainability of soft drink brands

You can find the full list of assessed brands on the overview page of soda brands on our website. By clicking on a brand you will gain more information about our assessment. Moreover, you can send the brands a message by clicking the ‘nudge this brand’ link.

To improve the sustainability performance of soft drinks, we can use your help. Support Rank a Brand! Besided financial support, you can also help us in our research as a volunteer. If you want to be kept informed about our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter in the upper right corner of our website.

World Food Day: Use Rank a Brand to choose sustainable brands

Today is World Food Day, a day in which there is extra focus on food safety. This special day is organized every year since 1981 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. This year, not only Oktober 16th, but the whole week, is centered around food related issues, such as some of the topics from the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’. The main issue during this week is ensuring food for every person on the planet.

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What’s going on?

Special attention for our food is very much needed nowadays. With a growing world population, climate change and the exhaustion of large areas of agricultural land, there are plenty of challenges to be met. Large scale use of pesticides, of which the health risks are not always clear, and the clearing of tropical rainforests are well-known examples. Furthermore, in many countries laborers in the food industry are still exploited systematically. These people receive too little pay for a reasonable existence, work too much hours a day and/or end up with physical complaints as a result of things like spraying pesticides without protective clothing.

What can you do?

The questions that remains with circumstances such as those mentioned above is always: who is responsible? Companies, governments and consumers often point to each other and at the end of the day, too little is happening. Of course none of these parties has full responsibility, but when everyone takes little steps, large improvements can be made.

For a start, a great step for consumers is using Rank a Brand. On our website, you can see which companies take their responsibility when it comes to climate change, environment, and labor conditions. To see how serious they are in this respect, the brands’ performance on criteria such as carbon emissions, carrying certificates (like organic or fair trade) and the reduction of food waste and waste nbso online casino reviews are examined. The brands are then ordered from high to low, and get assigned labels according to their scores as seen in the image below. More information about our methods can be found on the pages ‘what we do’ and ‘how we work’.

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Using Rank a Brand gives consumers the power to create change, by rewarding well-performing brands through the purchase of their products. A list of the better performing brands can be found on the overview page of food and beverages brands. We also regularly communicate about the performance of multiple sectors, like recently for restaurant chains and crisps brands.

Support Rank a Brand

Rank a Brand is a brand comparison website by and for consumers and focuses on sustainability and socially responsible entrepreneurship. We want to provide consumers with a clear overview of the sustainable performance of well-known brands. In this way, they can choose for better performing brands more easily, so that companies are stimulated to produce more sustainable and fair. We do not only rank brands that offer food and beverages, but also other sectors, among which are clothing, electronics, and telecommunication.

To be able to continue our work, we are in great need of your support. Apart from you contribution as a responsible consumer that makes more well considered purchases with the help of our website or app, you can also support us financially or help us carry out our research as a volunteer. Do you want to stay up to date about our research on the sustainable performance of well-known brands? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Together we can make sure that on this World Food Day and during the rest of the year, our food supply will become more sustainable and fair!

Sustainability often not on the menu of restaurant chains

A quick bite downtown, at the railway or bus station or along the highway. Most of us do it often. However, is it possible to do so in a sustainable way? Unfortunately, this mostly is not the case for the more well-known restaurant chains.

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How do the restaurant chains perform?

Sustainability doesn’t seem to be on the menu for most of the well-known restaurant chains; in the latest ranking of Rank a Brand, none of the restaurant chains that were examined scored better than a C-label. Only IKEA Restaurant shows some substantial improvement and is now top performer in this sector. McDonalds and Subway perform somewhat better than most brands and receive a D label, which means they have started to take sustainability into account, but they should do better. Popular chains like Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Vapiano, and Domino’s Pizza receive the lowest possible grade, the E label. We therefore recommend not ordering at these chains until they show more improvements.

In comparison to the previous ranking, some brands received lower scores due to new, more demanding criteria that Rank a Brand implemented. Burger King for example, lost its nbso online casino reviews D label and now resides among the worst-scoring brands with an E label. The new criteria are, among others, sustainability measures in the production chain or the supply of vegan food.

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What stands out?

As far as sustainable meat, fish, eggs, drinks, or fruits and vegetables go, almost no restaurant chain shows concrete policy on these products to make them more sustainable. Examples of such policies are the use of organic beef, fruits or vegetables or the supply of tap water as opposed to bottled water. In a sector that has a major global environmental impact, such as large-scale agriculture and cattle breeding for which tropical forests are being cleared, improvements are necessary.

Help get durability on the menu

The full list of the brands we’ve surveyed can be found on the overview page of restaurant chains. By clicking on a brand you can find more information about our assessment. You can also send brands a message through their brand page by clicking the link ‘nudge this brand’.

To help get sustainability on restaurants’ menu, we could use your help. Support Rank a Brand!

Children clothing brands need to grow up

Similar to Rank a Brand”s previous yearly update, brands that produce baby and children clothing show little maturity when it comes to their progress regarding environmentally friendly and fair clothing. This is a sad situation, since young children are not only extra sensitive to (hormone disrupting) chemicals, but also because they inherit the planet from the current generation. Leaving them the earth with a disrupted climate, destroyed nature and social unrest as a result of unfair labor practice should therefore not be considered good business. However, many of the brands we’ve researched do not appear to take this idea to heart.

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How do the brands perform?
For our latest ranking, we researched 15 brands that produce baby and children clothing. Of these 15 brands, 13 receive the lowest label, the E label. Examples are Prénatal, Rock Star Baby, Derhy, and Oilily. The E label means that brands hardly show or don’t show that they take the environment and labor conditions into account in their production process. Therefore, we advise consumers not to purchase these brands until they perform more sustainably.

The remaining two brands perform somewhat better. The brand Name It comes in first place. This brand receives the C label, which means it is on its way towards becoming more sustainable, but it still has to work harder. Name It scores points for using over 20% environmentally preferred materials, having GOTS certified production for a number of products, having a decent Code of Conduct in place for workers in low wage countries and for being a member of the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative. Imps&Elfs comes in second place and receives a D label. This means that the brand already took some steps towards more sustainable practices, but still casino has serious work to do in this respect. Imps&Elfs scores points for its use of environmentally preferred materials (59% of total production) and by being a member of the MADE-BY organization. Being a member of such initiatives shows brands take improvement of labor conditions seriously.

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What stands out?
None of the brands published their carbon emissions footprint, which makes it unclear how large this footprint is. Using renewable energy would be a great step in the right direction, but so far, only Name It shows plans to increase its use of renewable energy. With respect to the environment, much could be gained by using more environmentally preferred and certified materials for baby and children clothing, such as organic cotton or recycled materials. While multiple brands mention having a clothing line with such materials, only Name It and Imps&Elfs publish the precise share.

Using certified materials, from GOTS of EU-Ecolabel for example, also means that fewer or no harmful chemicals are used in the production process. Using fewer of these chemicals is desperately needed, because of not only their effect on the environment and the makers of the clothing, but also for the babies and children who wear them. Of the brands we’ve researched, only Name It demonstrates that it is working on this initiative, by having removed at least one group of harmful chemicals from its clothing.

Help baby and children clothing brands grow
The full list of researched brands can be accessed through the overview page of the baby and children clothing sector. By clicking on a brand, you can find more information about our ranking. Furthermore, you can send the brand a message through this page.

To help baby and children clothing brands grow toward more sustainable practices and to be able to research more brands, we could use your support!

Surf, beach & swimwear: going against the sustainable current

When you’re out catching a wave or swimming laps in a pool, you may not realize that the clothes you’re wearing have an impact on the environment, and especially, on our global oceans and waterways, due to the chemicals required to manufacture surf, beach and swimwear. In order for future generations to be able to enjoy the same oceans, lakes, and rivers that we do today, we must be more conscious of sustainability initiatives in the surf, beach, and swimwear sector, and therefore, we should keep this in mind during our purchasing of such brands.

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Overview
As a whole, the surf, beach, and swimwear sector has a great deal of room for improvement. Of the 11 brands in this sector, none received a score higher than D-label. This score means a brand reached its “first milestones, but should be perform better.” Two brands (Speedo and Reef) receive a D-label, while the remainder receives an E-label, meaning “don’t buy.” The highest scoring brand is Speedo, scoring 6 out of a maximum of 31 points. Reef (or its brand owner VFC) comes in second with 5 points. Speedo received the majority of its points from its Labor Conditions Policy while Reef excelled in its climate and chemical management and  reduction initiatives. Brunotti, Oxbow, Quiksilver, Roxy, O’Neill, and Rip Curl all scored some points, but not enough to score better than an E-label. The lowest performing brands for the sector are Billabong, Protest, and Rhino Surf, receiving zero points.

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Use of Hazardous Chemicals

In “high risk” production countries that have fewer or weaker wastewater treatment regulation, wastewater containing hazardous chemicals from the washing, bleaching, and dying of fabrics in online casino factories is not or inattentively treated before its eventual discharge. This can result in impacts to water quality, entire ecosystems, and the well-being of those people that rely on these water resources. According to the World Bank, almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. Given the surf, beach, and swimwear sector’s reliance on the sustainability of our global ocean’s and waterways for the success of its brands, it is imperative that this sector focus much more heavily on improving its sustainability initiatives as they pertain to phasing out hazardous chemicals and polluting waterways.

Of all 11 brands in the sector, only Reef clearly communicated a policy to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures for its products. None of the brands however have clearly reported results of having a policy to phase out at least one suspect chemical group, such as phthalates or perfluorinated chemicals, from their entire production.

Climate Change

Sea level rise and coral bleaching due to ocean acidification as ocean temperatures rise are just two of the potential effects of climate change. As a sector, half of the brands (Speedo, Reef, Brunotti, Quiksilver, Rip Curl, and Roxy), have reported a first step towards reducing their impacts to climate change by implementing a policy to minimize or compensate carbon emissions. However, no brand clearly reports that it has actually reduced or compensated their emissions by 10% in the last 5 years. Therefore, it is imperative that the surf, beach, and swimwear sector implement more initiatives to reduce the effects of climate change, and report on clear results already realized.

Labor Conditions

About half of the brands (Speedo, Reef, Oxbow, Roxy, and Quiksilver) report to have implemented a Code of Conduct to improve labor conditions at the factories where their clothes are made. Speedo is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which demonstrates that Speedo is part of an alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers” rights around the globe. However, none of the brands annually report on clear enough results of theirs labor conditions policy. Similarly, none of the brands clearly annually report on the labor conditions policy for their fabric manufacturing phases.

Support Rank a Brand

You can see all the results of the ranking here. Please note that you will only see brands that are available in your country. If you select a brand you can see their score on each of our criteria, and a short explanation on how we have assessed this.

If you value our ranking, support us!

If you love the beach or are concerned about the sustainability of our global oceans and waterways, please support us in helping surf, beach, and swimwear brands to be more sustainable.

Poor performance of Sport and Outdoor brands

Recently, Rank a Brand updated its ranking for Sport & Outdoor brands. These brands have some of the greatest potential to appeal to people who prefer to buy environmentally and socially responsible brands. Generally, those of us who tend to make purchases from these sectors spend time outdoors, whether they’re hiking up a forest trail, kayaking down a whitewater river, biking across rugged terrain, or playing their favorite sport. The buying decisions Sport & Outdoor consumers make not only allow them to enjoy nature, but have an impact on the environment and nature as well.

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For the Sport & Outdoor Clothing and Shoes sectors, we looked at how brands performed with respect to the use of environmentally preferred materials and the phase out of hazardous chemicals, including suspect chemicals and chromium used in leather tanning. Despite the fact that the brands from these sectors are geared towards people who appreciate the great outdoors, they all have room for improvement in regards to their sustainability initiatives.

Front Runners

Of all brands in the Sport & Outdoor sectors, none receive a grade higher than “C” (on its way towards sustainability, but can do better) on their sustainability initiatives on a scale from “A” (high sustainability efforts) to “E” (little to no efforts). While some brands are with respect to single policy measures indeed front runners in their industry, they aren”t yet able to convert its comparably better performance to even better ranking results – like scoring a “B” grade. Overall, Vaude received the highest score and is one point shy of a “B” grade. Vaude excels in its climate protection policies through the use of 100% renewable energy and is member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which shows the brand is serious about improving labor conditions in low wage countries. Other brands that receive a “C” grade are Puma, Pyua, Jack Wolfskin, and Patagonia. Of these, Pyua is a leader in the use of environmentally-preferred raw materials (97%).

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Laggers

Overall, the Sport & Outdoor sectors exhibit a number of “lagging” brands, with many receiving a “D” grade (first milestones, could be better), while the majority receive an “E” grade (don’t buy). Well-known brands scoring a “D” grade include Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Helly Hansen, and Fjällräven. In the category of brands scoring an “E” grade, Oakley, Fila, Lonsdale, and Perry Sport stand out. 11 brands score a total of zero points. These brands are yet to implement sustainability initiatives, or disclose such initiatives on their websites.

Overall trends

The majority of Sport & Outdoor brands reported some sort of policy measure nbso online casino reviews to minimize, reduce, or compensate carbon emissions. However, across both sectors, only 5 of 63 brands (among which are Vaude and Adidas) have succeeded in reducing or compensating at least 10% of their carbon emissions in the past 5 years. The sectors struggle as a whole with environmentally preferred raw materials. Pyua leads in this regard, using such materials almost entirely. Only a few other brands (such as Vaude and Hanwag) clearly report a policy to use environmentally preferred materials for at least 5% of its total production.

Only two brands (Pyua and Fjällräven) clearly report to have eliminated at least one harmful chemical group from their global supply chains. Furthermore, among the typical outdoor- and sport shoe brands, only Nike, Puma and Brooks clearly deliver on the result that PVC is eliminated from its collection to at least more than 90%. In regards to labor conditions initiatives, 48 brands report implementation of a Code of Conduct to assure better working conditions for workers in low wage countries. However, only 8 ouf 63 brands report on clear results of its policy measures implemented in its supply chain on apparel manufacturing level, namely: Mammut, Nike, Jack Wolfskin, Vaude, Trigema, Deuter and Schöffel. Even worse are the results when it comes to presenting clear results further down the supply chain. Only only two out of 63 brands report on clear results of this policy measures in the fabric manufacturing stages, namely Puma and Jack Wolfskin. Finally, across both sectors, only Löffler realizes that at least 50% of its fabrics manufacturing takes place under good, respectively low-risk labour conditions, as its 70% of its fabrics are processed in its own production facility in Austria.

These trends in climate, environmental, and social responsibility indicate that the Sport & Outdoor Clothing and Shoes sectors are both at a starting point in terms of its collective sustainability efforts. As sectors with great potential to excel in the realm of sustainability, due to their outdoor-oriented consumers, perhaps greater strides will be seen from brands in both of these sectors in future ranking updates.

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You can see all the results of the ranking on the overview page of the Sport & Outdoor Clothing sector and the overview page of the Sport & Outdoor Clothing and Shoes sector. Please note that you will only see brands that are available in your country. If you select a brand you can see their score on each of our criteria, and a short explanation on how we have assessed this.

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