Everywhere you look, there’s a different definition or interpretation of sustainability. But at V12, our view of this word is simple: it’s a relationship. A relationship between planet and people, a relationship between the environment and its users.
And we want to show you what we’ve been doing - and what we'll continue to do - to ensure that V12’s relationship with the planet is just like the one we have with our customers: long, healthy and harmonious.
We’ve made a commitment to give our customers safe, comfortable and durable footwear while ensuring that we engage in and maintain environmentally responsible processes from the first piece of material used, right down to the final piece of packaging.
We’ve started moving production closer to the UK, which means a significant reduction in shipping and mileage. The distance from port to port has been reduced by approximately 7,000 nautical miles – and this means that a single journey from our overseas factories to the UK will have been reduced by 31 days.
We want our sustainability drive to be more than just making eco-friendly changes to our products. We want to make environmentally sound decisions in every aspect of our company, which is why our new warehouse has been fitted with LED rather than fluorescent lights. LED lights contain no toxic chemicals, meaning fewer emissions, and due to their longer life, less waste is produced. We’re also excited to be in the process of making the move from fluorescent to LED lighting in our head office, while our new factory uses solar energy for its electricity.
We’ve been packaging up our shoes in recycled cartons (the large cardboard boxes which multiple shoe boxes are delivered in) for several years now. All of our cartons have been repurposed from used boxes, so the amount of new materials used in this packaging and delivery process has been drastically reduced.
To package our smaller items and accessories, we use mailing bags which are made from 100% recycled LDPE (low density polyethylene). Additionally, these bags are fully recyclable, so they're sustainable in every sense of the word.
It’s V12 policy that no glue is used in our shoe boxes or cartons. This means that no animals will have been harmed to make any adhesives, ensuring a vegan and animal-friendly packaging process.
Furthermore, we’ve started producing lines of footwear where only vegan-friendly glue is used, which means we’re reducing our use of adhesive substances which release toxic or volatile chemicals into the atmosphere.
Polypropylene straps are extremely difficult to recycle, and if disposed of irresponsibly, can often end up as tripping hazards in the workplace, so we’re proud that we don’t use any plastic strapping within our packaging.
Our Lynx range is officially carbon neutral. This has been achieved by following our three key sustainability steps: REDUCE, EXTEND, OFFSET. From drastically reducing our shipping mileage and guaranteeing a long bootlife cycle, all the way to investing in global environmental projects, we’ve ensured that the Lynx boot range provides maximum protection for wearers, but with minimal impact on the planet.
You can learn more about the Lynx range and how it has achieved carbon neutral status here.
MukGuard is our Green Apple Award winning overshoe offering outstanding grip and abrasion resistance. Crucially, MukGuard is reusable, so instead of going through countless plastic overshoes to keep customers’ floors clean, one pair of our boot covers lasts a long time. This will have a particularly big environmental impact when you consider in just one year, an average engineer goes through 40 KGs of plastic overshoes. Each year in the UK, 14 million tonnes of waste is sent to landfill, and we want to do everything we can to reduce this alarming figure.
The Leather Working Group (LWG) is an international organisation made up of stakeholders across the leather supply chain, working to promote environmental best practice within leather manufacturing and related industries. V12 want to ensure that all of its production processes reflect its commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing: this is why our footwear manufactured in Europe is made at LWG certified tanneries using sustainably sourced leather. You can put your trust in our footwear’s production as well as its performance.
Flame laminating is a really smart and environmentally friendly alternative to glue. Instead of introducing harmful substances into the atmosphere as a lot of conventional glues do, we use this method to create the waterproof element of our shoes without adhesive. This earth-friendly alternative has meant we’ve saved over 300kg of glue usage each year since 2018.
Waterless dying is another great example of how a clean and effective manufacturing process can replace an older and environmentally unsound one. We’re employing this process more and more to ensure we use as little water as possible when dying the fabric of our shoe lining.
Sedex is an organisation that helps businesses keep the people in their supply chain working in safe and ethical conditions, and we’re really pleased to be working with Sedex approved factories. We will guarantee that the environment is respected by everyone in V12, but we’ll also ensure that our employees themselves are equally respected.
Artificial Intelligence is a fantastic example of how we use technology to aid our planet as well as our customers. We use AI to help people find their correct fit in V12 footwear first time, and this reduces the amount of shipping journeys - and the resulting carbon emissions - which occur when items are returned or reordered.
Utilizing 3D sampling technology at the design stage means that the amount of leftover material is vastly reduced because we can be much more accurate at the manufacturing stage. And less physical waste means fewer emissions.