In August 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed Ethical Wares website for the company's environmental report. No report could be found. The company stated "All our products are not only Vegan but have been carefully sourced to satisfy us to their worker friendly credentials".
However no further information could be found regarding how it mitigated against its environmental impacts.
The company, which had a turnover of less than £10.2m, was considered to be providing an environmental alternative due to its focus on selling only vegan products. However it received a middle Ethical Consumer rating due to the fact it retailed own brand footwear and shoes and did not have a policy addressing toxic chemcials used in the materials.

Reference:

www.ethicalwares.com (15 August 2018)

In August 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed Ethical Wares website, for information on the company's use of potentially damaging chemicals. No information was found on chemicals used in its footwear, for example in dyes, adhesives or waterproofing.

Greenpeace's 'Detox' campaign which began in 2011, called on companies to adopt and implement an individual Detox solution, committing to eliminate the use and release of all hazardous chemicals (including APEOs, Phthalates and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)) from their global supply chain and products by 1 January 2020. The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Roadmap also calls for zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020.

Ethical Consumer deemed a toxics policy necessary for footwear companies, as many of the processes involved including the production of man made fibres, leather, adhesives and dying of fabrics, released numerous hazardous substances that had a significant negative environmental impact.

A strong policy on toxics would include:
- a priority list of hazardous chemicals (HC's)
- a set of clear targets to remove discharge of all HC's (with dates)
- a requirement that suppliers disclose data on release of HC's
- publicly disclosed data on the HC's used and progress towards removing them
- a discussion of alternatives to current HC's used (ie. not reducing their use, but replacing them)

As the company did not use leather, produced with highly polluting chemicals, it was seen to be reducing toxics, so it received a middle Ethical Consumer rating.

Reference:

www.ethicalwares.com (15 August 2018)

In August 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed Ethical Wares website, for information on the company's cotton sourcing policy. Although the company sold a range of cotton products including clothing and bags, no policy could be found.

According to the Anti-Slavery international (ASI) website viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2016, Uzbekistan was the fourth largest exporter of cotton in the world, and every year the government forcibly mobilised over one million citizens to grow and harvest cotton. Due to the high proportion of cotton likely to have come from Uzbekistan and the prevalence of forced labour in its production, the company lost half a mark in the Workers Rights category.

The Organic Trade Association website, www.ota.com, stated that cotton covered 2.5% of the world's cultivated land yet used 16% of the world's insecticides, more than any other major crop. Due to the impacts of the widespread use of pesticides in cotton production worldwide the company also lost half a mark in the Pollution & Toxics category.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit pro-biotech organisation, genetically modified cotton accounted for 68% of cotton grown globally in 2014. Due to the prevalence of GM cotton in cotton supply chains and the lack of any evidence that the company avoided it, it was assumed that some of the company's cotton products contained some GM material. As a result it lost half a mark under the Genetic Engineering category.

Reference:

www.ethicalwares.com (15 August 2018)