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Alpkit 2020 Sustainability Report Press Release

© Alpkit

GO NICE PLACES DO GOOD THINGS

OUR SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2020

Welcome to our first Annual Sustainability Report.

At its purest, Alpkit is a bunch of designers who share their love of the outdoors and playing outside. There was a time when we had a lot of free time. We worked, saved and got ourselves kitted out. These passing years taught us something – that we had the skills to create something new. So we set about building Alpkit as a business that we ourselves would want to work for: vibrant, viable, sustainable brand for multi-sport adventure enthusiasts.

Our love of the outdoors also steers the way we do business. It's in our nature to look after what's important, whether that's the environment, animals, suppliers, staff, community or our customers. We know we wouldn't be here without you.

In 2019 we wrote down all our principles (in very small writing on a really big piece of paper) to explain our ideas to customers and staff. We did this knowing that we don't know all the answers, that we're not perfect and all our actions have consequences. And in the hope that, by choosing to do the right thing and aiming to do better each year, we are world-class in what we do.

David Hanney, CEO

REDUCE REPAIR REUSE RECYCLE

Our design ethos is to make gear you'll love for longer – gear you'll come back to year after year. Every Alpkit product has a specific purpose, which means there's limited cross-over in our range and ultimately fewer garments in your wardrobe. And to make sure we're making the best products, our design team actively listens to customers, gets feedback and reads every one of our customer reviews. We've offered repairs since we started and in 2017 we launched the Continuum Project, which finds old kit a new home, irrespective of brand.

WHAT WE'RE PROUD OF

1. 1,731 repairs carried out last year

2. 1.5 tonnes of gear donated through The Continuum Project

3. 15 Clothing lines made with recycled content

THIS YEAR WE WILL

1. Double the number of products made with recycled content

2. Reduce waste tonnage

3. Work with other industry bodies to share knowledge and promote a circular economy

CONTINUUM PROJECT IN ACTION

"Birmingham City Mission is amazing. They run a care centre every Tuesday where people in need can drop in for food, clothing and even a warm bed for the night. The range of people they help is huge – some are homeless, some are victims of domestic abuse and others are people suffering with mental health problems. Amongst

the most frequently requested items are sleeping bags and outdoor clothing so it's a real privilege to be able to support Birmingham City Mission by providing gear donated by our customers. It's truly wonderful to think that the actions of our customers really are helping people through difficult times in their lives"

Elly Cundill, Customer Support Hero

RESPECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT

We know that some materials, processes and chemicals used in our products and production processes are harmful to the environment – when you think about it, most outdoor gear is made from plastic or made from things that are dug up from the ground (we're talking metals, not potatoes!). We seek to minimise that harm without compromise to performance or quality.

WHAT WE'RE PROUD OF

1. 100% PFOA-free

2. 82% of our clothing range is PFC-free

3. 89% organic/BCI cotton

4. 90% recycled content in packaging

5. 100% BFR-free flame retardants

6. Less than 20% air freight

7. Founder members of the Single Use Plastic Project and Microfibre

THIS YEAR WE WILL

1. 100% PFC-free DWRs

2. Reduce air freight to 10%

3. Review chemical usage in our production process

4. Conduct life-cycle reviews of some key products

5. Calculate our complete UK carbon footprint

6. Move to 100% recyclable or compostable packaging

TREATING ANIMALS HUMANELY

Wherever we use animal products we do it as conscientiously as possible. There are three animal materials in our products: goose and duck down, merino wool and goat- skin leather. We have a policy of sourcing these materials using the most humane methods available to us.

WHAT WE'RE PROUD OF

1. 100% Responsibly sourced down

2. 100% non-mulesed merino

3. 100% of leather has a functional use

4. 0% fur

5. 0% angora

6. 0% alpaca

THIS YEAR WE WILL

1. Investigate further leather alternatives

2. Continue to use non-mulesed merino and RDS down

3. Consider more animal-free alternatives where appropriate

4. Adopt a Responsible Wool Standard on all our wool, including merino

THREE QUESTIONS WE GET ASKED ABOUT ANIMAL PRODUCTS ANSWERED BY RONNIE (HEAD OF DESIGN)

Why use animal products?

Natural products have performance characteristics that synthetic products can't yet match. Wool is a miracle natural fibre – it can absorb almost its weight in water before you start feeling cold. There's no better insulator than down for warmth to weight ratio. Leather is super hard-wearing – it's famous for its durability and dexterity.

Isn't using synthetic better for the planet?

Depends on your perspective. For someone who doesn't want to use animal products, synthetics are a great choice. For someone who wants to reduce their carbon footprint, animal products can be much better than synthetic. Our belief is that, if you're going to buy something, choose something you'll use for years and years.

How do you make sure animal products are responsibly sourced?

We take animal welfare very seriously. We only use down certified by the Responsible Down Standard, which means that birds aren't force-fed, live-plucked and that their welfare is respected throughout their lives. We only use non-mulesed merino and in fact, we're investigating ways to improve standards throughout our wool supply chain by implementing the Responsible Wool Standard.

WORKING WITH PEOPLE WE BELIEVE IN

We work with the best factories in the world, mainly in China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the UK. Our senior team (CEO, MD, Head of Design, Sonder Product Manager) regularly spends time at our factories and personally review conditions. We only work with factories who are as committed as we are to eradicating modern slavery from every part of the supply chain.

WHAT WE'RE PROUD OF

1. All our factories sign up to the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code

2. 100% of factories reviewed by Alpkit in the last 18 months

3. 100% of outsourced UK suppliers paid the living wage

THIS YEAR WE WILL

1. Establish a written code of conduct with our factories

2. Conduct an environmental review at all of our tier 1 factories

3. Develop a framework of more formal reviews of our significant suppliers

BUILDING A BETTER BUSINESS

We are investing in the UK and making sure we are responsible and fair in the way we set up our business.

WHAT WE'RE PROUD OF

1. 0% of waste from Alpkit HQ goes to landfill

2. 97% use of renewable energy

3. Gender balance of senior management team: 50% female

4. Gender balance of whole workforce (excluding shareholders/directors): 44% female

5. 0.5% gender pay gap (excluding Board)

6. Highest to lowest pay ratio of less than 6

7. Updated our privacy policy and comply with GDPR

WHAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON

1. Gender balance of Share Ownership and Board:

THIS YEAR WE WILL

1. Take positive steps to encourage a more diverse workforce

2. Ensure every member of the team receives at least one week's training on life skills and work skills

3. Move to Living Wage Foundation as our basic pay rate

4. Send zero waste to landfill from Alpkit stores

5. Move to B Corp Certification

6. Introduce staff sustainability training

There's loads more we do here - check out our sustainability policy at alpkit.com/sustainability

GIVING BACK

We're committed to giving back to the communities that we're lucky enough to be a part of, whether that's the broad community of people who love the outside, people who need support or the local areas where we have our stores. Ultimately, we want to help more people Go Nice Places Do Good Things

WHAT WE'RE PROUD OF

1. £200,000 Alpkit Foundation donations and 575 awards

2. 1000 people at Alpkit's Big Shakeout - our not-for-profit outdoor festival

3. Over 3000 people went on Alpkit courses and events - happy adventures!

4. Community events at stores every week, ranging from yoga nights and film nights to gear exchanges and talks

5. We work with local schools and colleges to provide industry experience

THIS YEAR WE WILL

1. Donate £80,000 to projects through the Alpkit Foundation

2. Put on the Biggest and best Big Shakeout ever!

3. Introduce Staff Charity Giving Scheme

4. Get to know our local communities even better

ALPKIT FOUNDATION: HELPING PEOPLE GO NICE PLACES DO GOOD THINGS

Spending time outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul. But generally people are spending less time outdoors. That is a problem we're helping to tackle. 1% of Alpkit sales go to individuals and direct-action projects. From ti-spoons to titanium tandems, every penny adds up to a huge amount – more than £200,000 so far.

We support ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make the world a better place. We're incredibly proud that the Foundation has now been involved in over 600 projects. That's over 10,000 people that have directly benefited from the support that Alpkit customers have given through the Foundation.

It's humbling to see the effect that these small steps can make to so many people. Our hope is that everyone gets the chance to Go Nice Places Do Good Things, even just sometimes. The Foundation is a thank you from us to all our customers as we know we would not be here without you.

If you know of a deserving project or think you're someone that only needs a bit of backing to make a big difference, it's simple to apply, or donate. Just head to www.alpkit.com/foundation

OUR PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

DESIGNING GEAR THAT LASTS FOR LONGER

Products are designed to last for longer. We spend time choosing the right materials for the job and construct products to reduce wear points.

SOURCING THE RIGHT MATERIALS

  • Sourced close to manufacturer.
  • Sourced ethically.
  • PFOA-free.

DEVELOPED IN WORLD CLASS FACTORIES

We visit our factories regularly and know our people really well.

All our factories sign up to the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code. UK-made products are made with pride at Alpkit HQ by our skilful workforce.

YEARS OF GO NICE PLACES DO GOOD THINGS

You and your lovely Alpkit gear will enjoy many, many incredible adventures together.

YOU BECOME THE OWNER!

1% of all sales goes to the Alpkit Foundation, which looks after outside spaces and encourages participation in outdoor activity.

TRANSPORTED TO YOU BY THE LOWEST-IMPACT FORMS OF TRANSPORT

80% of products are moved by boat from Far East factories.

100% of products are moved to the Alpkit warehouse from our UK factory by human power!

REPAIR AND CARRY ON

When you've had a misadventure and your gear gets damaged, it doesn't have to mean the end. Get it repaired, ready for more abuse! We carried out 1,731 repairs in 2019!

PASS IT ON THROUGH CONTINUUM

And when you're finally ready to say goodbye to your beloved Alpkit gear, we can find it a new home through the Continuum Project. 1.5 tonnes of gear was donated through Continuum in 2019. Thank You!

WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING A COMPLETELY CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Reduce, repair, reuse, recycle.



For more information visit Alpkit

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Relief

Alpkit are still going. Only read the headline and had jumped to the wrong conlusion and thought they were in danger of shutting down.

They produce some excellent kit, excellent service and holistic approach to the environment.

17 Mar
Headline had me worried also. Nice people too. I met three of the guys up on Kinder last week doing a photo-shoot and they listened patiently and politely to my sustained tent design 'feedback'.

Decent kit, good prices, nice people, and if they're reading this apologies for the rant :-)

18 Mar

It was great to meet you and your partner on the hill. I wish i could put in words just how great the feeling is when i see our products being used out on the hill and meeting customers. I never want to lose that. Plus your feedback on the Soloist is well appreciated and got me thinking whether its possible to have two sizes. A Soloist and a 6+ footer which has an extra 4" for taller people.


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