The OUR PLANET Label
We believe that everyone is happier outside and that protecting the planet should be a top priority for all of us. That’s why we’ve created Our Planet - a range of products that as a minimum meet at least three of our environmental areas- to help you to consider the environmental and social impacts in your choices. Look out for the Our Planet logo in-store and online.
Why have we introduced Our Planet?
We understand that most of our environmental footprint comes from the products we sell; whether that is the carbon footprint, chemical pollution or land depletion, most of the impact happens before our customers even touch the product.
As outdoor retailers we believe it is our duty to encourage our brands to continue producing products that take their environmental footprint into account and help our customers identify and understand a product’s environmental impact.
With an ever increasing number of accreditations and labels, new types of materials and product compositions it can be difficult to navigate the green claims of a product.
We hope the Our Planet label makes it easier for you to consider a product’s environmental and social impact when buying a product.
What does the Our Planet stand for?
We want to be 100% transparent with you what the Our Planet label stands for and what it does not stand for.
The Our Planet label is based on (1) the composition and materials of a product (e.g. recycled polyester or organic cotton) and /or (2) external accreditations that certify a product’s environmental, social or animal welfare-based impact through its materials or manufacturing processes.
As we ourselves are not an environmental or social auditing company we must rely on external accreditations, which check a brand or product’s materials or manufacturing process independently and/or the material composition of a product, which must be specified on the product tag itself by the brand.
The accreditations we accept are of the highest standard and are widely recognised in the industry (see the appendix for details).
A product will receive the “Our Planet” label when its accreditations and/or its material composition demonstrate that meets at least three environmental areas.
We DO NOT and CAN NOT make any claims about the impact on the environment, social welfare of workers or animal welfare, whether it is positive, neutral or even negative on areas that are not covered by the accreditations or the material composition of the product.
To give you an example, if a product is certified by “Oeko-Tex Made in Green”, we CAN show that the product has a positive impact in chemical management, water consumption, emission reduction to the air and must have a climate policy in place, because these are the requirements that are checked by the accreditation “Oeko-Tex Made in Green”. But we CANNOT guarantee that the product has no negative impact on other environmental or social areas, like biodiversity or freedom from discrimination, because the product does not have a certification that assures us that these areas are looked after.
How do Our Planet products compare to products without the label?
The products in the “Our Planet” range have external certificates and/or they have a product tag that confirms the required material composition that prove they meet at least three environmental areas. In addition they may have social benefits to workers and communities that produce the products or protect animal welfare.
We evaluate all our products on the same set of criteria regardless of type of product or brand. So when you compare products within the range of products we sell, the Our Planet product meet at least three environmental areas certified by external accreditations and/or through its material composition compared to products in our range that do not carry the label.
It is important to note that we only accept externally certified impacts and/or material compositions that are stated on the product itself. Because we are not an environmental auditing agency, we rely on external parties like the Responsible Down Standard or the Better Cotton Initiative to certify the environmental/social/animal welfare impact of a product’s materials or manufacturing processes.
Therefore, we want to flag that it is possible for a product to have an equally good or even better environmental or social footprint than an “Our Planet” product, if that product has NOT labelled its materials on the product tag OR has not gone through an external accreditation process. In this case, despite any positive impact the product might have, we cannot award the Our Planet label because we do not have the capacity to carry out the necessary due diligence ourselves to assure us and you, as consumers, that the materials and/or manufacturing processes are indeed in line with or exceed the Our Planet criteria.
For further information see our Appendix below.
How do we validate a product’s impact and the information we receive from our brands?
When it comes to the material composition of a product the composition of the product must be specified on the product or product tag itself to guarantee its validity.
- Recycled Materials: By re-using the existing fibres and textiles, it reduces the need for newly manufactured fibres.
- Organic Fabrics: Organic fibres must follow stringent criteria that prohibit pollution with pesticides or other chemicals.
- Wood-based Materials: Wood-based materials or fibres originate from the renewable raw material wood. The certified biobased fibres are manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process and/or stem from sustainably managed forests. The fibres themselves are compostable and biodegradable, and thus can fully revert back to nature.
In case of the accreditations we accept, the accreditation body that gives out the certificates to brands or for specific products all have their own independent validation and audit process. We have only selected accreditations that are internationally recognised and offer a comprehensive and ambitious set of standards and guarantee a form of audit of the certificate holders’ product or production site.
We carry out regular spot checks to ensure brands have provided us with proof of their up-to-date certificates.
How can you shop “Our Planet”?
Online you can shop for the “Our Planet” range by searching Our Planet in the menu bar, use the “Our Planet” filter option or choose products in our lister pages that have been labelled with the “Our Planet” tag.
To give you detailed information why a product has received the “Our Planet” label, please visit the product page and click on the Sustainability Feature drop-down menu. Here you will find the material composition and/or the certifications relevant to the product and what environmental/social/ animal welfare areas they relate to.
In stores you will see Our Planet products tagged with a label to help you identify the products that qualified.
What are the Our Planet criteria? And how is a product evaluated?
We have identified environmental, social and animal-welfare based areas of responsibility or impact that a product can qualify for if it has a positive impact in this area.
These areas are:
Environmental Qualifying Areas
Recycled Materials use materials already in circulation rather than virgin materials that further deplete natural resources, use land or cause further pollution
Organic Materials must follow stringent criteria that prohibit pollution with pesticides or other chemicals.
Alternative Materials are defined as materials that are sourced from fast renewable raw materials compares to standard fibres (examples are wood-based viscose, cork or bamboo)
Circular products can be used for multiple lifecycles saving on raw materials and the impact on the environment through disposing the item.
Offering a lifetime guarantee/warranty ensure products are built to last for long periods of time reducing the need for new raw materials and preventing environmental impact through disposing the item.
Second-hand products only require minimal resources for a repair or wash before entering the lifecycle again reducing the need for new raw materials and preventing environmental impact through disposing the item.
Increased repairability also extends a product’s lifecycle and thus reducing the need for new raw materials and preventing environmental impact through disposing the item.
Measuring carbon footprints, setting reduction targets and taking action to reduce the carbon intensity of a product is critical in preventing climate change.
Protection of Land, Water & Biodiversity
Good chemical management does not use hazardous chemicals and/or forever chemicals (e.g. PFCs, PFAs) that pollute and harm planet or people.
Protection of land, soil and biodiversity requires agents to ensure no unnatural degradation occurs in the process of creating their products.
Lower water consumption protects local water sources from harmful depletion.
Waste management focuses on responsible waste treatment through waste prevention, recycling and appropriate disposal.
Emission reduction to water sources focuses reducing pollutants (microfibres, toxins, etc) to reach waterways.
Emission reduction to air focuses on pollutants to the air that are not necessarily included in climate change prevention (e.g. particle pollution).
Environmental Philanthropy rewards investment in environmental protectionist projects and activism.
Social Qualifying Areas
Free Labour means there is no forced, compulsory or bonded labour
No Child Labour means producers are prohibited from employing children under the national legal working age or 14 years of age, whichever is higher
Minimum Wage requires that all workers – waged and piece rate – are paid wages at least equivalent to the applicable legal national minimum wage or regional norm, whichever is higher; and that workers are paid regularly, on time, and through an appropriate method of payment.
Freedom of Association & Bargaining means the employer recognizes the fundamental importance of the right to freedom of association as a means of representing and defending workers’ interests and considers this right to enable the effective realisation of other labour rights.
Freedom from Discrimination and Equal Compensations means there is no form of discrimination, e.g. in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement, based on race, caste, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or other differences that could give rise to discrimination.
No Abuse or Harassment ensures no producer engages in or tolerates the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion, sexual harassment, physical or verbal abuse or harassment of any kind.
Working Hours ensure that working hours comply with national laws or relevant collective agreements, whichever is more favourable to the worker.
Health & Safety requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace setting to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employers’ facilities.
Skills and Development focus on training programs that support employees in their career development
Additional Social Security & Benefits are social benefits like paid sick leave, pension schemes, maternity leave etc.
Women Empowerment focuses on schemes or projects that enable women to join and progress the workforce in a safe manner, e.g. specific recruitment, education for women, training and accelerator programs for women, childcare etc.
Promotion of disadvantaged Groups & Minorities focuses on schemes or projects that specifically foster and promote the career development of minorities
Animal Welfare Qualifier
We define animal welfare through the ‘Five Freedoms’, which are globally recognized as the gold standard in animal welfare, encompassing both the mental and physical well-being of animals. They include freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury, and disease; freedom to express normal and natural and freedom from fear and distress.
How we evaluate a product’s score?
To evaluate if a product qualifies for any of these impact areas, we collect information about a product’s material composition and/or any certification it holds through a questionnaire.
The questionnaire consists of 58 criteria a product can qualify for:
* Product Weight: This assumes the total product weight. Exceptions are: (1) Footwear - here we also allow the threshold to apply to either the total weight of the sole or the total weight of the upper fabrics (everything except the sole of the shoe). This is because the sole is disproportionately heavy compared to the total weight of the shoe. (2) Insulated Items (Jackets, Sleeping Bags) - here the threshold applies to either the insulation/filling or the fabrics (everything except the filling content).
** Sustainable Combination: this applies when the above listed materials (C4-11) represent a total of 50%+ of a product's weight*, even when the individual material components would fail to be above 50% on their own, i.e. qualify for C4-11. E.g. Product A qualifies for C12 if it consists of 20% recycled cotton and 30% Lyocell, because this represents a total of 50%, even though product A would fail to qualify for C4 or C10.
This criterion only applies when C4-C11 are not applicable.
Based on this criteria list we know the environmental, social or animal-welfare-based areas the product qualifies for.
For example, to receive the BlueSign Production certificate, the certification specifies that the brand or production site where the product is manufactured follows its guidelines on recycled materials, climate policy, chemical management, waste management and so on.
How the certification or the material composition of a specific product links to the areas of impact, visit the product details page and open the Sustainability Feature drop-down menu as shown below.
1. Materials-Based Accreditations
Global Recycled Standard
The GRS is intended to meet the needs of companies looking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and intermediate) and to verify responsible social, environmental and chemical practices in their production. The objectives of the GRS are to define requirements to ensure accurate content claims and good working conditions, and that harmful environmental and chemical impacts are minimised. Link
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit, multistakeholder organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests, via timber certification. It claims that forests managed to its standards offer benefits to both local and wider communities and these are said to include cleaner air and water, and a contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change. Link
Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization which promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification. It is considered the certification system of choice for small forest owners. Link
Global Organic Textile Standard – Organic
GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. GOTS certified final products may include fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes, home textiles, mattresses, personal hygiene products, as well as food contact textiles and more. Link
Better Cotton Initiative
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a non-profit, multistakeholder governance group that promotes better standards in cotton farming and practices across 21 countries. BCI farmers receive training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, minimise the impact of harmful crop protection practices, preserve fibre quality and apply decent work principles. Link
Responsible Alpaca Standard
The Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS) is an international, voluntary standard that addresses animal welfare in the alpaca supply chain and chain of custody of alpaca fiber material from certified farms to the final product. Link
Responsible Mohair Standard
The Responsible Mohair Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of goats and the land they graze on. Link
Responsible Wool Standard
The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is an industry tool designed to recognize the best practices of farmers, ensuring that wool comes from farms with a progressive approach to managing their land, and from sheep that have been treated responsibly. Link
The NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program is a robust system with a triple impact based on scientific research and backed by data. It protects the land by bettering its soil quality, safeguards the animals by ensuring their healthy keeping, and supports farmers and local communities by improving their livelihoods. It aims to achieve greater water quality and increased CO2 capturing levels. Link
ZQ or ZQRX
Every ZQ certified grower adheres to requirements about fibre quality, animal welfare and health, social standards around human rights, health & safety and wellbeing, mitigates negative impact on the environment including preserving biodiversity and better water quality. Link
The Down Codex certificate is only awarded if the strictest ecological and animal-friendly requirements are met, which even exceed the applicable EU law. The origin of the down used in the products can be traced on the internet: Each product contains a sewn-in code that can be entered on the Down Codex website. This provides details on the origin and quality of the down as well as an IDFL animal welfare report. Link
Products labelled with the DOWNPASS guarantee high quality and the certainty that down and feathers used as filling material are ethically sourced and come from tightly controlled and traceable supply chains. Link
Global Traceable Down Standard
The Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS) helps companies demonstrate that down in garments and other household and commercial products come from a responsible source that respects animal welfare and can be transparently traced. Link
Responsible Down Standard
The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm. The standard is used to reward and influence the down and feather industry to incentivize practices that respect the humane treatment of ducks and geese. The standard also provides companies and consumers with a tool to know what is in their products, and to make accurate claims. Link
Leather Working Group
The LWG aims to become a global sustainability standard for leather manufacturing, covering all elements and actors in the leather value chain. The organization focuses on ensuring high environmental standards in leather production and transparency within the leather supply chain. Link
terracare® leather is produced as environmentally respectful as possible: thanks to minimal consumption of resources, transparent origin of raw materials and an optimal recycling rate. It has a 100 % transparent raw material origin, 100 % clean auxiliary materials, at least 97 % recycling/recovery rate, at least 40 % less water consumption and at least 30 % less CO2 spend. Link
2. Chemical Management
ZDHC Chemical Management System
the ZDHC Foundation’s ZDHC CMS Framework is a chemical management system (CMS) focusing on worker safety and the reduction of environmental impact in the community and the broader environment. The ZDHC CMS Framework provides the textile, apparel, and footwear industries with a united base to work from, that can be incorporated in a wider management system, such as an Environmental Management System (EMS). Link
ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List
When it comes to using safer chemical inputs, it's important to know what the options are. That's where the ZDHC MRSL comes in. It supports sustainable chemical management by helping to avoid the use of banned substances during production and manufacturing. This solution facilitates the creation of end products that meet the requirements for cleaner outputs. Link
3. Climate Change
Carbon Trust – Carbon Neutral Certification
A carbon neutral certification demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to decarbonisation, and the neutralisation of remaining impact through the support of environmental projects. Link
Carbon Trust – Carbon Reduction Certification
The world’s first independent certification for organisations that are measuring, managing and reducing greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions in their supply chains. Understanding supply chain emissions and engaging suppliers to drive decarbonisation across the value chain is a key step on the journey to net zero. This Standard is an enabler for supply chain emissions assessment, supplier engagement and a demonstration of dedication to reducing upstream emissions. Link
Carbon Trust – Lower CO2 Label
This label shows that the product’s carbon footprint is reducing year on year, and that the company has committed to achieving ongoing footprint reductions. Link
Climate Neutral Certified
Climate Neutral Certified is the standard for clear and immediate climate action. Its priority is to get companies to focus on carbon footprint measurement and reduction programs using the insights from carbon measurement to take measurable actions. The label is a symbol of companies that work actively to decarbonize across their entire business - value chain and beyond. Link
SBTi Accreditation – Paris Agreement
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Companies shall set one or more targets to reach a state of reducing their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions to a residual level that is consistent at the global or sector level with the scenario of limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2030. Link
SBTi Accreditation – Net Zero 2040
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Companies shall set one or more targets to reach a state of net-zero emissions, which involves: (a) reducing their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions to zero or to a residual level that is consistent with reaching net-zero emissions at the global or sector level in eligible 1.5°C scenarios or sector pathways and; (b) neutralizing any residual emissions at the net-zero target date and any GHG emissions released into the atmosphere by 2040 and thereafter. Link
SBTi Accreditation – Net Zero 2050
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Companies shall set one or more targets to reach a state of net-zero emissions, which involves: (a) reducing their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions to zero or to a residual level that is consistent with reaching net-zero emissions at the global or sector level in eligible 1.5°C scenarios or sector pathways and; (b) neutralizing any residual emissions at the net-zero target date and any GHG emissions released into the atmosphere by 2050 and thereafter. Link
4. General Accreditations
4.1 General Accreditations covering Environmental & Social Aspects
B Corporation (also B Lab or B Corp) is a private certification of for-profit companies of their "social and environmental performance. To be granted and to maintain certification, companies must receive a minimum score of 80 from an assessment of "social and environmental performance", and integrate B Corp commitments to stakeholders into company governing documents. Link
BlueSign Production Site
At the production site(s) of a bluesign® SYSTEM PARTNER, all activities shall be guided by the following three principles: 1. The activities performed at the production site shall not have harmful impact on human beings, animals, plants, soil, aquatic bodies or the atmosphere. 2. A high level of human health and environmental protection shall be ensured, with the goal of achieving sustainable development. A bluesign® SYSTEM PARTNER shall be aware of Best Available Techniques (BAT) that are relevant for the industry and shall implement these techniques to continually improve environmental performance. Link
Cradle to Cradle Product Standards (All Standards)
Cradle to Cradle Certified® is the global standard for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. Cradle to Cradle Certified assesses the safety, circularity and responsibility of materials and products across five categories of sustainability performance: material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water & soil stewardship and social fairness. Link
Fair Trade Certified
The Fair Trade USA serves workers in facilities that produce a variety of products, such as apparel, footwear, and home goods. The objective of the FTC is to increase empowerment, including leadership, economic development, and organization of workers employed in these facilities, and to ensure fair working conditions and environmentally responsible production methods. Link
Fair Trade Textile Standards
The Fairtrade Textile Standard is one component of the greater Fairtrade Textile Programme to facilitate change in textile supply chains and related business practices. This comprehensive approach engages manufacturers and workers in the supply chain to bring about better wages and working conditions, and engages brands to commit to fair terms of trade. The intent of the environmental requirements is to reduce negative impacts on workers and environment by controlling chemical use and practices. Link
The Green Button is a government-run certification label for sustainable textiles. There is currently no other label like the Green Button. It demands that mandatory standards are met to protect people and the environment. A total of 46 stringent social and environmental criteria must be met, covering a wide spectrum from wastewater to forced labour. Link
Oeko-Tex Made in Green
MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® is a traceable product label for all kinds of textiles and leather products that have been manufactured in environmentally friendly facilities under safe and socially responsible working conditions. The MADE IN GREEN label also reassures consumers that the textile or leather product is made of materials that have been tested for harmful substances. Link
4.2 General Accreditations covering Environmental Aspects
The Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) is a business-driven service provided by amfori for retailers, importers and brands committed to improving environmental performance in supplying factories and farms worldwide. BEPI provides a practical framework that can support all product sectors in all countries to reduce their environmental impact, business risks and costs through improved environmental practices. Link
BlueSign Product Standard
A BlueSign Product must meet stringent criteria on its material composition and manufacturing processes as well as adhere to a restricted chemicals list with the intention of preserving health & wellbeing of workers and the environment. Link
EU Ecolabel Textile Standard
he EU Ecolabel certifies products with a guaranteed, independently-verified low environmental impact. To be awarded the EU Ecolabel, goods and services should meet high environmental standards throughout their entire life cycle: from raw material extraction through production and distribution to disposal. The label also encourages companies to develop innovative products that are durable, easy to repair and recyclable. Link
1% for the Planet
1% for the Planet represents a global network of businesses, individuals and environmental organizations tackling our planet's most pressing environmental issues. Certified companies donate 1% of sales or 10% of profits, whichever is greater, to the organisation for distribution towards environmental charities. Link
4.3 General Accreditations covering Social Aspects
BSCI has a strong code of conduct with 11 principles. These range from fair remuneration to no child labour, along with a step-by-step approach that enables companies to monitor, engage, get empowered and receive support to put sustainable trade at the heart of their business. Link
Fair Labour Standard
FLA offers two evaluation programs for companies committed to improving working conditions in different tiers of its supply chain, including farms and factories. Each program has a distinct timeline based on the scope of FLA’s evaluation. FLA Accreditation signifies that a company has effective systems in place that protect workers in their global supply chain. Link
The Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices contains eight labour standards that are based on the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices is known for its strong provisions on freedom of association, hours of work, and a living wage. Link
SMETA is Sedex’s social auditing methodology, enabling businesses to assess their sites and suppliers to understand working conditions in their supply chain. An auditor physically attends the site of a business, enabling the auditor to assess the conditions on the ground. Social audits enable businesses to assess their suppliers, monitor health and safety for workers, and signal zero tolerance of human rights abuses such as child and forced labour. Link
WFTO Fair Trade Standard
The WFTO Fair Trade Standard comprises the 10 Principles of Fair Trade with a set of compliance criteria to assess how well members are implementing the Principles. These principles are creating opportunities for marginalised producers, creating transparency & accountability, fair trading practices, payment of fair prices, no child or forced labour, no discrimination, gender equality and good working conditions. Link
Ecocert Comos Organic
A beauty care product is COSMOS ORGANIC certified only if: 95% minimum of the plants it contains are organic. At least 20% of organic ingredients are present in the total formula (10% for rinse-off products) Link
EU Organic Logo
The European Union organic logo gives a coherent visual identity to organic products produced in the EU. The organic logo can only be used on products that have been certified as organic by an authorised control agency or body. This means that they have fulfilled strict conditions on how they must be produced, processed, transported and stored. The logo can only be used on products when they contain at least 95% organic ingredients. Link
What is our intent with the Our Planet?
Our intent is to make it easier for our customers to identify products with an environmental and social focus. Therefore we highlight products using the “Our Planet” label that meet a minimum of three of our identified environmental areas like protection of land, water and biodiversity, reduced emission to air or better chemical management … It can be tricky to navigate the jungle of sustainability accreditations out there so the Our Planet is here to help our consumers to take a product’s environmental and social impact into consideration when buying a product.
(For further information on our criteria, click here)
Do we make any profits from the Our Planet?
The Our Planet criteria have been developed independently by us and are applied to all products and all brands equally. The profits we, or the brands make from a product do NOT influence whether a product receives the Our Planet or not.
Often more sustainably produced products have a higher price tag because the manufacturing processes and the materials required are often more expensive. But at no point have commercial gains influenced the set-up of the Our Planet criteria and its thresholds, nor does it influence which product receives the Our Planet tag.
Can we guarantee an overall positive impact of the Our Planet product on the planet or people?
Even if we sold the most sustainable product that is currently available in the world, it would not fulfil the requirement of being fully sustainable and having no negative impact on the environment in one form or another. Every product, even recycled or second-hand products have at some point depleted resources, used energy, water, land and chemicals to be created, washed, repaired or recycled.
We cannot even guarantee that an Our Planet product has absolutely no negative impact on one or more of the environmental or social area we identified.
What the Our Planet label stands for is that the product has, as a minimum, has sustainability features that meet at least three environmental areas.
But because we rely on external accreditations, certificates and audits, we can only share information about the areas a product are certified for by the accreditations we accept. We do not have any data on the areas the certificates or accreditations DO NOT cover.
For example, we have a product that has a certificate that specifies requirements on climate policy and chemical management. This tells us that the product or brand has a climate policy in place that aims to reduce its energy need and emissions, and that the product does not contain any harmful chemicals in the materials or during the manufacturing process (as per the certificates prohibited chemicals list). But we do not know and cannot guarantee that product’s impact on, for example, biodiversity or water consumption is positive or even net neutral.
Why have the label at all when we cannot guarantee any negative impact on the planet or people in areas we don’t get any information about?
We believe sustainability is a spectrum and a journey. No product is perfect or a 100% sustainable, but that is no reason not to strive for continuous improvement and flag the achievements we have already made.
We want to encourage and reward brands that invest in creating products that more and more keep the planet, people and animals in mind. Highlighting them on our websites and in our stores is their reward for continuing to push the envelope.
We also want to help our consumers to take a product’s environmental and social impact into consideration when making a buying decision. Hence we strive to provide you with information around environmental and social footprint in a concise and easy to find manner.
Yes, we cannot guarantee a positive or even a net zero impact on every single environmental or social impact area we have identified, but we believe that it is important to share where a product does have a positive impact that can be verified either through the product’s material composition information or through the external certificates it has received.
On the whole, we believe it is a better world where products with a positive impact on at least some parts of the environment are highlighted than a world where this information is not shared and these products are treated equally with products where these impacts cannot be certified.
Does the Our Planet make any comparisons with products within our range or products in the wider market?
The Our Planet label does not seek to make comparisons. It aims to provide information around a product’s environmental and social impact to assist the consumer in taking these impacts into account when making a purchase decision.
It simply states that a product which receives the Our Planet label as met at least three of our identified environmental areas through its material composition and/or the external certificates it has received.
The Our Planet label flags products within our range of products and that’s our frame of reference. We don’t know all the outdoor or lifestyle products in the global market and could not possibly judge all of their impacts on all of the complex environmental and social areas.
We can only evaluate the products we sell and for which we request information for from the brands that produce them.
Because we rely on external accreditations as verifications to ensure the positive impacts are audited, it is possible that a product with the same or even better impacts on the environment, does not receive the Our Planet label because the producer/brand decided not to get them validated by one of our selected accreditations, in which case, we cannot give the “Our Planet” label despite the product’s positive impact.
Is the “Our Planet” an official sustainability label? Do we carry out any checks ourselves?
No. It is not an officially recognised label. It’s a trademarked name for our business with the intent to highlight products that follow our list of criteria (for further information on our criteria, click here).
We do not carry out any formal audits of a product’s materials or production sites ourselves. We have based the Our Planet on external accreditations where an external organisation monitors and audits the certificate holders and ensure their compliance with their standards on materials and/or production processes.
To ensure the information we receive from brands about a product’s certificates or its material composition is correct, we carry out spot checks at regular intervals to ensure brands can provide evidence for the claims they make.
Why do we not carry out audits of products ourselves?
In addition to the sheer volume of different products and the capacity required to check the many production sites across the globe where all the products are produced, we do not have the expertise to evaluate their environmental or social impact.
This is why we rely on external accreditations or certificates, where the brand or the product’s production site are audited by the organisation administering the accreditation or the certificate. The accreditation body is responsible for the compliance of their certificate holders with their standards.
We will check at regular intervals that the brands can provide proof of the certifications they hold and that the certificates are up to date.
How did we select the accreditations making up the “Our Planet” label?
We selected internationally recognised accreditation schemes where the certifying body carries out audits to ensure compliance with their requirements.
The accreditations often cover the same environmental or social areas, but with varying levels of ambition, targets and requirements. For example, on climate policy, the Science-based Target of Net Zero by 2040 is significantly more ambitious than the climate standards of the Responsible Wool Standard.
However, we only selected accreditations whose requirements are of a high enough standard to be considered to make a difference to the environment or the social welfare of workers compared to products that would not aim to achieve these targets. For instance, we have not included accreditations that require a producer only to measure their carbon footprint, but accreditations that require producers to set reduction targets, create reduction plans and monitor their progress towards their goals.
Why did the Our Planet criteria change in 2023?
When we launched the Our Planet in 2021, we intended it to be an iterative process because we want to continue pushing for better and better products.
As industry standards change, new technologies and methods, new fibres and materials are developed we must set higher and higher bars to continue the strive for more sustainable products.
With our new version launched in 2023, we have created more transparency around how a product impacts the different areas of the environment, social welfare of workers or animal welfare and created a more ambitious threshold to qualify for the “Our Planet” label.