Great shoes. Fair conditions. Radical transparency.
It's pretty simple.
We at Icebug say “yes” to reduced emissions, knowledge sharing, and increased transparency. We say “no” to inbound air freight and greenwashing, and we don't make small ''green collections.'' We say “yes” to what is good for the planet and “no” to actions that are purely about making a profit.
We take the Paris Agreement seriously. Our carbon dioxide emissions will be at least halved by 2030, which in our case means that each pair of shoes we produce must have a climate footprint lower than 6 kilos of CO2. We have come a long way but must continue to reduce the climate footprint for every pair of shoes by an average of 0.7 kilos of CO2 per year. This is something we work very hard for every day - and have a clear plan for. We are also involved in several other issues that we believe are important for creating a more sustainable shoe industry. On this page, we list the most important points - and give a promise of what you can expect from Icebug.
Icebug is a certified B Corp – this means that we meet extremely tough sustainability standards, but also that we are part of a global movement of companies using business as a force for good.
NO to flying home shoes.
Switching from boat transport to air freight to be able to sell as much as possible during the right period is common in our industry. Icebug has not flown shoes from our factories for five years. Sometimes this means that our shoes arrive a little late, but most of the time it works fine. Especially if you think about the emissions we avoid.
Does it make a difference? 🤷🏼♀️
Using boat transport from Vietnam to Europe or North America creates about 0.5 kg of CO2 emissions per pair. It is a smaller amount than would be created if we transported the shoes by truck from southern Europe or Mexico to our warehouses. If we were to switch to air transport, emissions per pair would be at least 20 times higher. Switching from maritime transport to aviation would thus mean that the total CO2 emissions per pair would double. That's not ok, and it’s why we don’t use inbound air freight.
YES to wages you can live on.
The wages and living conditions of factory workers in the shoe industry are important issues. Here's an overview of what it looks like for Icebug: Icebug has for a long time worked closely with a few factories. At present, we cooperate with three factories in Vietnam for the vast majority of shoe models. We also partner with one factory in China for our safety shoe, Vidar. To ensure good conditions in the workplaces, we have an ongoing dialogue with those responsible on-site. We participate in and encourage controls carried out by independent organizations.
Since 2020, Icebug has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, where brands jointly carry out audits in their factories. External social audits initiated by other brands are also carried out. Wages, labor rights, and freedom of association are part of the standard evaluation made by third parties. Based on the facts we have, reasonable living wages are paid by all our factories, and a full-time wage is enough to live on in a specific country.
Icebug is often one of several customers at each factory and it is important for us to always take financial responsibility for - at least - our part.
Icebug's support for factories during Covid-19:
During the Covid shutdown in Vietnam in 2021, Icebug provided support to factory workers who got stuck in their homes due to lockdown. We paid $ 86,500 to Great Process, which was 25% of the total cost and Icebug's share of planned production during the first two weeks of the shutdown. This was to cover the salaries of employees who could not work during this period. If you want to know more, you can look here: https: //www.fairwear.org/
NO to cutting down old-growth forests.
''When the forest speaks, we have to listen''
Icebug has for a long time collaborated with Naturarvet, which works to protect Sweden's last old-growth forests. By donating all sales from our webshop and our own concept store during Black Friday for the past two years, Icebug is involved in protecting several hectares of old-growth forest. But more needs to be done before it's too late.
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has recently published a report that shows the need to change Swedish forestry. According to the report, we are in the middle of a natural crisis. Intensive forestry, with clear-cutting as the main method, threatens many of the forest's animals, plants, and fungi. The forest has an important role in climate change, but the boundaries of nature must be what governs how the forest is farmed. A change must take place. According to the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation's report, there are actual solutions. If you want to read the whole report, you will find it HERE (NOTE: the report is in Swedish)
We at Icebug are not experts on how forests should be farmed, we must honestly say that. However, the need to protect the last natural forests cannot be ignored. More than half of all endangered species in Sweden are directly linked to old-growth forests that have not been significantly affected by forestry. However, only a small percentage of Sweden's old-growth forest is protected. Therefore, we say let the old forest remain and use the rest of the forest responsibly. We will continue to be involved in the conservation of old-growth forests and continue to donate money towards their protection. Do you also want to help preserve forests? Read more here: https://naturarvet.se/ (Note: the link is in Swedish)
How Icebug's materials affect forests:
A few raw materials - livestock, palm oil, soy, cocoa, and natural rubber - account for a large part of global deforestation. Icebug has started a pilot project together with Danish SPOOR to ensure that the leather (animal husbandry) in our shoes is traceable and that its production does not contribute to deforestation. To get sustainable, natural rubber, Icebug has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. We are currently introducing FSC-certified rubber in our soles.
YES to a carbon dioxide tax.
Icebug says yes to charging a reasonable price for carbon dioxide. What we mean by that is a price per tonne emitted to trigger the industry to move away from fossil fuels. The carbon dioxide price suggested by leading climate scientists is €100 / tonne. Icebug follows what we believe is the best thing to do for the world at large, so we have taken this tax into account in our internal calculations. We have incorporated addressing environmental issues into our business model. The practical side of this has been that materials and processes with a higher CO2 value get less and less space in our product portfolio.
Yes to give back to the planet.
Icebug is a member of 1% For the Planet. This means that we have agreed to give at least 1% of our total sales, regardless of whether we made a profit or not, back to projects that protect the planet.
Our first year as members ended in February 2021 and meant that we donated a total of $200,000. The largest sums went to Protect Our Winters ($50,000), Naturarvet, focusing on forest protection ($45,000) and a pilot project to replace coal power with energy from solar panels on factory roofs ($35,000).
We have now closed our second year and have donated about 250,000 US dollars.
The largest sums went to:
Hej Främling, with their project “out and enjoy” focusing on making the outdoors accessible for immigrants ($37,000)
Tuki Nepal, for a micro loan project ($20,000).
YES to a transparent manufacturing chain.
Follow the Footprints has dual purposes.
While it is a way for you as a customer to be able to make more conscious choices, we also do it so that the rest of the industry can learn from us and make the journey ahead a little smoother. Unfortunately, we are close to alone in sharing this information.
The CO2 footprint for a pair of Icebug shoes in 2021/22 averaged 11.0 kg CO2. See all our products Footprints here.
YES to paying taxes where we do business.
Our goal is not to maximize our profits. We exist to influence people and the planet in a positive direction. Therefore, it is obvious for us to pay taxes that benefit the communities where we do business. No tax havens for us!
YES to only making products that are needed.
We could release many more niche styles in trending colors, but we’re not trying to ride the waves of microtrends. We want to sell functional shoes that last over time and that you’ll wear for years to come. Therefore, we opt out of temporary trends in favor of quality that lasts.
Target: 6 kg CO2 per pair.
Icebug work to reduce as many emissions as possible, and then climate compensate for what we do not succeed in removing. For us to have a chance to stay within 1.5 degrees of planetary warming, we must halve the total emissions by 2030.
In 2015, when we started taking carbon emission measurements, the average footprint per pair was 12.9 kg. We have reduced this to 11.0 kg CO2. We see it as our duty to do everything we can to reach an average of 6 kg per pair by the end of this decade at the latest. However, we will continue to cause emissions in the future. This is inescapable. To compensate for this and to be able to help create a world with less CO2 emissions as quickly as possible, we also help others outside our industry to reduce their emissions.
We compensate for our footprint by 200% through investing in highly credible projects and partners, such as Gold Standard, CDM, and 1% For the Planet. Our total footprint for 2021/22 was 3,992 tCO2 and our total compensation in these projects was then 8,260 tCO2.
Our promise going forward.
It's not about being perfect but about doing the right thing when we know what the right thing is.
Now we've stepped into a new spring. The challenges in the footsteps of Covid-19 will continue to be difficult, but we will not deviate from our promises and what we believe in. We promise to act with common sense and strive for maximum effectiveness. We must take responsibility and do the right thing when we know what the right thing is. When there is a conflict over something, we should prioritize what is best for the world over what is best for Icebug. This is the transformation we want to see in all industries.
Now we've stepped into a new spring. The challenges in the footsteps of Covid-19 will continue to be difficult, but we will not deviate from our promises and what we believe in.
You can expect us to:
Continue to pay tax where we do business.
Continue to give 1% of our total sales to non-profit environmental organizations.
Make products that people need, while reducing the resources they require.
Continue to reduce our climate emissions to achieve at least a 50% reduction by 2030.
Use our platform and our voice to share what we have learned and to say something when we see greenwashing or similar misrepresentation.
And expect us to be transparent. You are more than welcome to hold us accountable to that promise.
David talks about sustainability.
To be part of 1% for the Planet means committing to donating 1% of our total sales to good causes, projects, and environmental organizations.
To be a B Corp means to be part of a global community of companies that use their businesses to benefit people and planet. To become a B Corp you must meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
Fair Wear Foundation is an independent organization that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories.
Protect our winters is a community of athletes, scientists, creatives, and business leaders that helps passionate outdoor people protect the places and lifestyles they love from climate change.