Swedish shoemaking brand



How sustainable is Vagabond?


Vagabond is a Swedish footwear brand that was born in Sweden in 1973. In its sustainability journey, the company is particularly focusing on improving its materials. Vagabond’s main material is leather, and it’s a member of the Leather Working Group, but only sources 52% from LWG rated tanneries. Though the company is transparent about the subject and has the ambition to increase this percentage to 100%, half of the leather it sources is uncertified. Concerning its textiles, cotton accounts for 1,67% of its materials but is all GOTS certified, and the company has introduced Tencel as an even more environmentally-friendly alternative. While some steps have been taken in the right direction, there’s a lot of room for improvement. The company is taking measures to reduce its carbon emissions and has a target to reduce them by at least 50% by 2030. Vagabond aims to achieve this by sourcing better materials and improving its packaging and transport. It mentions challenges ahead particularly in finding a more environmentally friendly alternative for its glue and renewable energy in its supply chain. The company wants to work towards circularity and has started to collect and recycle old Vagabond pairs through its I: Collect program to provide the materials for new pairs. In 2020, it will launch the first collection with soles made from worn out Vagabond shoes. Vagabond owns the factory in Vietnam where most of its shoes are being produced, and publishes a factory list that includes its leather tanneries. It also has a Code of Conduct that covers all basic workers’ rights. However, it doesn’t mention the use of independent third-party audit organizations and there’s no evidence of payment of a living wage.

Publication date: July 25th 2020
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