You got questions? We got answers.
How long has sustainability been a focus at Volcom?
Volcom’s been actively working on its sustainability program since 2005 (with the launch of Volcom Verde which then became the V.Co-logical Series).
What about the factory workers?
Volcom’s supply chain has been fully accredited by the Fair Labor Association, and has been a member of the FLA since 2014. This means that Volcom has committed to promoting and complying with international labor standards throughout our supply chain and that we have brought our supply chain into substantial compliance with the internationally recognized FLA Workplace Code of Conduct. Additionally, Volcom is assessed on the fulfillment of the Principles of Fair Labor & Responsible Sourcing which include:
- Adopting and communicating workplace standards
- Training staff to assess and remediate noncompliance issues
- Conducting internal assessments of facilities
- Providing workers with confidential reporting channels
Do you have a code of conduct?
Volcom’s Code of Conduct (the ethical principles that govern decisions and behavior in our supply chain) and Responsible Purchasing Practices are posted and available here.
Are you aligned with any industry organizations?
Volcom is a Textile Exchange Member, a recent member of the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group, and a registered Higg Index user to help us monitor our impacts and progress. Additionally, Volcom is an Outdoor Industry Association general member and, in fact, hosted a 2019 Sustainability Bootcamp at HQ in Costa Mesa.
What about hazardous chemicals?
Volcom has a robust restricted substances testing program in place through the fully staffed P.A.S.S. Team (Product and Social Safety).
How do you measure your impacts?
In partnership with Kering, Volcom went through 5 years of Natural Capital Accounting (using Kering’s Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L)) covering their entire product range, through all tiers of manufacturing (we learned a lot!). We’ll continue to track progress with the Higg Index.
Do you have targets in place?
Volcom’s Sustainability Vision and our 2020 Targets (which, yes, are coming up due) are available here.
Is the down in your jackets humanely sourced?
Volcom became Scope Certified for the Responsible Down Standard, and was acknowledged in the 100% Club in Textile Exchange’s Preferred Fiber Benchmark Report (Volcom was recently a signatory, and International Working Group member helping to develop the latest draft of that RDS Standard). This certification ensures that the down and feathers Volcom uses in products comes from animals that have not been subjected to unnecessary harm.
Are you committed to more sustainable fibers?
In that same Preferred Fiber Benchmark Report (past years), Volcom has also been recognized as a leader for significant increase in the amount of organic cotton used, and for the amount of recycled polyester (rPET) used. In fact Volcom has been recognized as a Sustainability Champion by REPREVE® for the lifetime use of 33+ Million plastic bottles used for fibers.
But how do you compare to other brands in your space?
Volcom was one of the first brands in the “action sports” industry to use Econyl® regenerated nylon in collections (still a key fiber that you’ll find throughout the line).
Is it just cotton and polyester you’re focused on?
In addition to the fibers mentioned above, you’ll find hemp, PFC-free DWR finishes (by Teflon EcoElite), and Bluesign approved fabrics all being consistently used.
Is it all about the environment?
One of our latest initiatives, Farm to Yarn, is an ongoing socially conscious raw materials program in conjunction with the social enterprise CottonConnect that traces nearly 30 MT of organic cotton per year back to the farmer villages and supports 3 different training and support programs for the farmers and their communities in Madhya Pradesh, India: Farmer Business School, Organic Farmer Training, and Women’s Empowerment/Business Training program. A short doc was just released to tell the story.
I heard the apparel industry uses a lot of water, what’s Volcom doing about that?
In July 2019, Volcom will launched its Water Aware program which saves on average, 13 liters of water per pair (when compared to traditional methods), by using reformulated enzyme and ozone wash techniques and ditching the pumice stones of old. To date, Volcom has saved more than 4.5 million liters of water as compared to conventional wash methods that we used to use.
OK, so there’s lots going on in apparel, what about footwear?
You’ll be stoked to know that in 2020, Volcom Footwear received an Eco True overhaul. On our sandals: Molded footbeds made with flexible foams made from algae biomass, by BLOOM™, strap linings made with Econyl regenerated nylon. In our closed-toe division, you’ll find recycled Repreve fibers, hemp, and boots whose leather was tanned with innovative techniques that are saving upwards of 30 liters of water per pair!
I like that Volcom’s committed to a better supply chain. What about helping out others though?
Since 2011, Volcom has donated more than $1 Million to like-minded non-profits and community groups all over the world. Look for the Give Back Series logo on select products that also raise money and awareness for causes we’re stoked on! Some of our recent/current partners and beneficiaries:
- Live Like Sion
- Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii
- Sustainable Surf
- Boys & Girls Club Hawaii
- Orange Coast College
- Costa Mesa Foundation
What’s a Deep Blue Surf Event anyway?
Since 2013, the Volcom Pipe Pro – the iconic surf event that takes place at the famed Banzai Pipeline – has been certified, in partnership with Sustainable Surf, as a Deep Blue Surf Event™ – a more “Ocean Friendly” event, that sets a clear path for reducing environmental impacts, while also providing social benefits for the local community. Since 2013:
- We’ve offset 2500 Tons of C02 through the purchase of verified carbon offsets
- We’ve diverted from the landfill and recycled 3900 lbs of plastics, glass, cardboard, and paper.
- 6000 lbs of food waste sent to compost at Waihuena Farms across the street. Put back into the land to help nourish the soil for next year’s crops.
- On average, the waste diversion rate for this event since 2013 is 68%.
Climate Change Initiatives
What’s Volcom doing to address the climate crisis
We’re dedicated to taking steps the steps necessary to address our part.
- Renewable Energy – On the North Shore of Oahu, we’ve committed to renewable energy with the installation of 21.7 kW DC of solar panels on both the Volcom houses at Pipe. Annual production is about 35 MWh of renewable energy that we’re generating.
- Relying on less fossil fuel – Did you know that each year we run the generators that power the Volcom Pipe Pro event on locally produced biodiesel!? Made from the fields, not from fossils.
- Supply Chain Impacts – We’ve learned, from years of Environmental Profit & Loss reporting, that when we look at our impacts (from cradle to gate, or raw materials to our point of distribution) that upwards of 65% of our environmental impact as associated with emissions, waste, pollution, land use, etc. is due to our raw material extraction and processing choices. So, to reduce those impacts, we’re sourcing better fibers. Cotton that is grown organically, and synthetics that come from recycled origins. Both of these selections play a significant role in reducing emissions associated with global warming and climate change.
- Carbon Offsets – Since 2013, Volcom has offset nearly 2500 tons of CO2e emissions with the purchase of verified and certified offset programs that are either protecting carbon rich + sequestering projects, and or helping to plant new growth to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere. There’s more to come too!