Before buying something, think again.
Even though more sustainable product innovations and solutions are great, they seldom have a positive net effect. They still use resources. To become truly sustainable, the most important first step is to consume less. For us, as individuals, that means not getting things that we don’t need. And then, when you do get something you need, make sure to choose a product and look after it so that it serves the intended use – for you or somebody else – for as long as possible.
For a brand, the logical conclusion is that we only make products that people really need and we make them very durable, user friendly, easy to take care of and repair. With those principles in place, we come to what we normally mean when we talk about sustainability: selecting materials, production method and location, and transport in the least resource consuming and polluting way, while also not exploiting people.
At Icebug, making products that people really need is indeed the very foundation of what we do, since we’ve built the brand on solving the problem of slipping. And everybody that lives in our climate needs at least a couple of pairs of good shoes for different weather conditions. But you don’t need a pair for every single activity, so we always strive to make our shoes versatile. And we have a very strong commitment to and track record in quality and durability, though this is an area where we definitely can improve further.
We base our understanding of what is fully sustainable on the four principles of the Natural Step:
- In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing
- Concentrations of substance extracted from the Earth's crust
- Concentrations of substances produced by society
- Degradation by physical means
And , in that society - People are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs
Huge challenges remain for us – as for the footwear industry at large – when it comes to kicking oil dependency for raw materials, getting rid of potentially harmful adhesives and chemicals and introducing a realistic end-of-life solution. Our most hands-on-work here consists of reviewing the products currently in our line, digging deeper into the different supply chain levels, getting rid of harmful finishing treatments, unifying materials and changing to better materials and dyeing methods. Those are the small systematic steps, but they matter a lot since we’re starting with our best sellers and that’s where the majority of our volume is.
To challenge and be able to take real leaps forward, we’re also participating in cross brand collaborations to lift up the best possible solutions available at the moment. Stay tuned and join the project here.
If you want to learn more about our sustainability work, please contact our sustainability manager Henrik Tuomas or our CEO David Ekelund.