Dolomite looks back on a long history since its foundation back in 1897. Like many others it entered the sustainability path a while ago, but since this year took a new step by creating its own sustainability program and labeling. We asked Andrew Goodman, Dolomite’s CSR manager, how “Re-source by Dolomite” works and what the goals are.
What exactly is Re-Source by Dolomite all about?
Re-source by Dolomite is the name given to our CSR program. This program is one of the newer ones of our organization although it is something that we have always been working on. However, we felt that our stakeholders expected us to provide them with more insight and understanding of the work we do at Dolomite. Our CSR program is focused on three pillars, which are People, Planet and Product.
When we mention People, we consider that all people involved along our supply chain should be treated fairly and with dignity and respect; when we mention the Planet, we take into consideration that the Earth’s resources must be used in such a way that the eco-systems and future generations should not be adversely affected; and finally when we mention Product, we aim to maximize the sustainable nature of our products while still maintaining their level of performance through R&D, new technologies and design.
As part of the Re-source by Dolomite program, we decided to provide a way to show to our stakeholders which of our products were our most eco-responsible ones, and thus we affixed our Re-source by Dolomite label on the products that met our sustainable material criteria. For our apparel collection, the criteria are that a product must be made of either 100% certified renewable material or a minimum of 50% certified recycled material and if there is a durable water repellence (DWR), it must be PFC-free. On our footwear collection, our more sustainable products must have either a certified renewable or recycled upper, the soles and midsoles must contain recycled or bio-based contents, and finally the other components such as laces and footbed must be of recycled or bio-based sources.
Yes, that’s correct. There are already thousands of independent certificates existing and because of that it is very confusing for everybody to know what is truly better and what the certificates cover. Re-source by Dolomite is an on-product label, not a certificate. However, for a product to be considered for our eco-responsible label, it must have independent certification/test reports/documentations that support its material claim. By having our own on-product sustainability label, we make it simpler for our customers to be able to select a more eco-responsible product without having to know about all the different existing independent certificates. The Re-source by Dolomite label is a show of our commitment to produce and source more sustainable products.
On the upstream side, we do our homework ensuring that the certificates we consider to be more sustainable are truly so. This means a lot of research and internal discussion before we vet an independent certificate and, once we do, we request all the supporting certificate/test reports/documentation to make sure that what we are claiming from a material sustainability perspective is actually accurate. If we are unable to collect all this information, we do not claim that our product is more sustainable.
The basic guidelines are that material sources must be from certified renewable, recycled or bio-based sources, and that these certificates must come from verifiable and independent sources. Our on-product sustainability criteria for Re-source by Dolomite are not meant to be fixed and unchanging but will be adapted and revised as sustainability topics important to our stakeholders and customers change. This first iteration allows us to set our benchmark as to what we consider to be a more sustainable product and we inspired ourselves by looking at what other industry members were doing. Once a good portion of our products is labeled Re-source by Dolomite, it does not mean we have finished our work. We will adapt our Re-source by Dolomite label to the version 2.0 that will have stricter criteria and be our next step in providing more sustainable products.
What are Dolomite's concrete goals for sustainable production in the coming years?
In the coming seasons, we plan on continuing to gather internal know-how and expertise on the topic by partnering with industry and other stakeholder groups; on increasing our proposal of Re-source by Dolomite labeled products season by season; and on re-evaluating every season what it is we have achieved and where we want to take the Re-source by Dolomite program next. These are but the first steps and the process of incorporating sustainability into every aspect of our business practices and products is a long journey filled with much learning. It is something we are committed to and we are looking forward to the sharing our learning and experiences with everyone along the way on our CSR webpage.