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We recognise that managing operations in an environmentally and socially responsible manner is imperative during product development and manufacturing. So, we’ll be taking extra steps to ensure smart and sustainable development…

Durability and prolonging our product range’s life is core to everything we do, as well as our ‘never outworn, only outgrown’ ethos which remains as strong as ever. But that’s just the start. We also recognise there’s more work to be done to ensure we’re developing products that are fit for purpose, high in quality and environmentally and socially accountable.

Illustration of a child putting on a shoe

We intend to address any shortcomings, using research and innovation, working with our supply chain partners to guarantee each shoe has sustainable credentials – from recycled components to eco-friendly alternatives. We’re also on a packaging journey and strive for all shoe boxes to be FSC certified and fully recyclable.

Illustration of a pair of Start-Rite shoes

We aspire to reduce our environmental impact through mindful consumption such as video calling to reduce sampling and our carbon footprint, as well as additional CAD work to optimise pattern efficiencies and reduce wastage in manufacturing. Where possible we also use up excess materials and are implementing a ‘Start-Rite seconds’ process, where we buy back stock which hasn’t passed our vigorous quality standards in production but is functional in wear.

We strive to maintain a tight supply chain to help with visibility – six out of eight of our tanneries are Leather Working Group Gold Rated, one is Silver Rated; 100% of our Indian tanneries are Gold Rated. All factories must present an audit from an independent body and any areas for improvement must be sent across in the form of a corrective action plan. We also request that factories and tanneries inform us of their environmental strategies and targets.

We donate any excess materials and components, which are not for commercial use, to local universities to help with education. We also have regular company sample sales where proceeds are donated to local charities.

December 2022 marks our exciting launch with children’s fashion rental specialist, thelittleloop. For the first time, children’s shoes will be available in the brand’s shared children’s wardrobe with our selection of first steps and pre-school shoes. We’re delighted to join a line-up of quality brands to allow parents to shop sustainability for their growing children and help ensure the healthy development of their child through quality fitted footwear.

Featuring five contemporary styles, Start-Rite’s shoe collection for thelittleloop is an exciting opportunity to be part of the childrenswear rental market. Thelittleloop is the UKs first rental marketplace for children’s clothing, and we are pleased to be partnering with this innovative brand to revolutionise sustainability, style and value in childrenswear.

Steps to guide us on our journey:

1. Aim to have a sustainable element within each product.
2. Implement a ‘Start-Rite seconds’ process
3. Continue to maintain the supplier compliance database and understand sustainability practices at source.
4. Build on knowledge and sustainable practice through research and attending conferences and seminars.
5. Continue to prolong the use of development through donating components to universities along with conducting sample sales where proceeds are given to a local charity.