When considering a Vans purchase, many people today wish to only participate in sustainable, eco-friendly, vegan, and/or ethical transactions. Whilst you might consider what you consume physically both internally and outwardly, many are unaware of what practices might occur within the production of and the materials used for the clothes they wear.
Leather, wool, and snakeskin are some obvious ones, but have you ever thought of what your shoes were made of? Many shoe brands do in fact use non-vegan products within the shoes themselves and participate in unethical practices throughout their factories and manufacturing.
Vans shoes are predominantly vegan. Here is a list of the Vans models that are considered to be Vegan:
- Authentic Classics
- Authentic Platforms
- Authentic Elastic: Kids Model
- Checkered Slip Ons
- Mono Slip Ons
- Platform Slip Ons
- Era Classics
- Era Checkered
- Era: Kids Model
- Chukka Low Tops
Old Skool Vans are one of the more renowned and iconic designs, as one can deduce by the name. They’re in the same boat as the Authentic classics, as many consumers regardless of presence unconsciously think of this model when Vans are brought up.
Despite this, Vans still does not provide vegan options for the Old Skool hi-tops and the Old Skool lo-tops.
In short, there are no vegan options for the Old Skool Vans. There is a multitude of individuals working to nudge Vans in the right direction. The more pressure you as consumers put on a company to make important changes, the more likely you will be to be presented with results.
Vans Era line is made from 100% synthetic products! You can rest assured that your product is vegan and sustainable. The model ranges in specific that we all know and love are: era classics, era checkers, and the kid’s models for eras. Always check the box
Certain UltraRange models are made with suede whereas a number of them are/were made with genuine leather straps. Review details on the box as well as what the leather models look like in contrast to the suede ones. With this in mind, you should be able to find a pair of UltraRanges that are synthetic and vegan with ease.
Vans states that they “are committed to operating responsibly and only want to work with suppliers who are dedicated to safe, ethical, and working conditions. This policy prohibits the use of forced, involuntary or child labor.”. They have held themselves to this standard appropriately, and thus, do not use child labor to produce their products.
All of the countries in which vans are created (Vietnam, China, Cambodia, etc,.) are known to manufacture with the use of sweatshops. Vans is no exception, and although they have yet to explicitly state otherwise, it is hard to imagine that they do not participate in this considering the countries they choose to manufacture of which benefit them both financially and capitalistically overall through the use of cheap labor.
As for the labor conditions of the company, it was found to have a 51–69% transparency rating. This is a rating that fashion/apparel companies are given based on what practices are undergone and whether or not they are ethically based on the people involved and their basic human rights.
The conditions the workers are put under are considered to be questionable by professionals and environmental advocates.
Vans are biodegradable assuming there is no plastic or leather embedded into the product. The shoes themselves are often made of leather rendering the product invalid when it is time to be sent off to dump.
You can recycle your vans into park benches, phone cases, and other products. You can submit your shoes / see more details at Sustainability.vfc.com to go about the process. Once you are certain that your location is valid, you can rest assured that your old shoes will be reused in a manner that will not only be easier on the environment but help society as a whole.
Vans’ Impact on the environment
Vans as a company have yet to put full time and action into participating in more eco-friendly practices through production and the energy involved in factories.
We cannot ignore the packaging of the shoes and the boxing which is often non-biodegradable. Your shoes might be vegan but the box they came in sure isn’t. Furthermore, the amount of packaging paper and plastic used, as well as any styrofoam, compact stick shoe plastic to keep the form of the shoe and the elastic band holding the two together are all non-environmentally friendly.
As for their offices, Vans employees have been given free car charging stations of which are better for the environment. They aid in reducing the amount of greenhouse gas of which can be produced by gas-powered vehicles. They claim to be consistently implementing sustainable products, systems, and elements into the services and cycles they play a role in.
- Vans’ goal in terms of greenhouse gasses is to reduce its emissions rate by 30% by 2030.
- Vans claims that they will have 100% renewable energy throughout all of their operations and facilities by 2025.
- Vans will no longer be providing individuals with plastic shopping bags by the end of 2021.
- Vans intend on manufacturing 50% of its products that involve polyester with recycled materials by 2025.