Ocean Minded Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2011
We feel that as both a corporation, and a group of individuals, it is essential to understand that ‘eventually, everything ends up in the ocean.’
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about taking the responsibility for the impact that our livelihood and activities have on communities and the environment. At Ocean Minded CSR is driven by our Mission Statement and Core Values.
Since 1996, Ocean Minded’s efforts to lead the way as an environmental custodian have been ongoing, with the company’s belief that everything eventually ends up in the ocean. Ocean Minded has been organizing community beach clean-ups around the world and educating customers on the importance of leaving their chosen playgrounds in better condition then when they were found. Clean-up efforts have extended to the mountains and banks of inland rivers and lakes. Ocean Minded is dedicated to continuing this mission through hard work within the company, through it’s distributors and it’s customers. We can no longer deny that our planet is rapidly becoming a corroded and polluted place, it is our job to protect the places we play and live by our values: Be Ocean Minded™.
Ocean Minded has been rooted in the action-sports market as a leading brand in high quality footwear, apparel and accessories. Founded 16 years-ago, Ocean Minded has lead the way on the forefront of fashion trends, the company is known for its unique vision in tying fashion, functionality and comfort together in all its product collections. Ocean Minded believes in utilizing recycled and sustainable materials in its footwear, apparel and accessories whenever possible, and consistently strives to achieve this.
News From 2009 to 2011:
1 – Beach Clean-ups: From 2009 to 2011, Ocean Minded hosted 107 beach clean-ups that were attended by an estimated 3,162 volunteers. Together, they picked up and properly disposed of 27,213 pounds of trash. 21 of these clean-ups were hosted outside of the USA in: South Africa, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Canada and Thailand.
2 – Environmentally Friendly Materials: In 2011, Ocean Minded really stepped it up in an effort to use as much recycled material in our footwear, apparel and accessories as possible including the following:
- Bamboo: Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. Bamboo fabric is known for its softness and absorbency. We use it in some of the lining of our footwear.
- Recycled Wool: Recycled wool is created by tearing apart existing wool fabric and respinning the resulting fibers. Recycled wool fibers can make the end product more hard wearing and therefore longer lasting.
- Cork: Sustainably produced, cork is a natural material known for its energy absorption. Ocean Minded uses it as cushioning material in the heels of some of our footwear.
- Recycled Croslite™ Material: We utilize post-production scraps of Croslite™ material in certain footwear styles; these pieces of material would normally go to waste.
- Recycled Car Tires: Each year, approximately 200 million automobile tires end up in the landfills of the United States. We reuse these tires as durable, sturdy outsoles in many of our shoes and sandals.
- Hemp: We use hemp for uppers, outsoles and laces in our shoes as well as for straps in our sandals. Hemp requires little use of herbicides and pesticides in cultivation, and its fibers are used to produce strong, enduring fabrics and cording.
- Water-based Glue: Traditional shoe and sandal production use solvent-based glues, which can release volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, resulting in air and water pollution. Ocean Minded uses water-based glues in all of our footwear production to minimize environmental impact.
- Metal-free leather: Chromium sulfate is used in standard leather processing to tan hides and is poisonous to humans and other forms of life. Without proper handling and disposal, this deadly chemical can make its way into lakes, streams and ground water, ultimately polluting our precious water supplies. We use leathers tanned only with natural vegetable tannins in order to reduce the environmental risk associated with standard leather processing.
- Organic Cotton: We have chosen to use organic cotton in the production of our t-shirts, as well as in the lining of all of our shoes. Organic cotton is cotton that is grown without pesticides, from plants that are not genetically modified.
- Recycled Plastic Bottles: Polyethylene Terephthalate, commonly abbreviated PET, is a thermoplastic polymer resin and is widely used in beverage, food and other liquid containers. It can easily be recycled into a variety of products, and Ocean Minded uses recycled PET for toe posts in a number of our sandals.
- Vegan Choice: In our ‘Vegan Choice’ footwear styles, none of the materials used in production are derived from animals.
- Recycled EVA: Ocean Minded uses recycled EVA for footbeds and midsoles in a variety of our footwear styles. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a polymer used in the production of numerous padded products and can easily be recycled.
3 – Conservation Alliance: In 2011 Ocean Minded partnered with The Conservation Alliance, the most visible and effective conservation organization in the outdoor industry. With more than 170 member companies, The Conservation Alliance is dedicated to the protection of wild places for their habitat and recreation values. This partnership is a natural fit for Ocean Minded as the company continues efforts to increase environmental stewardship and works to align with likeminded partners in the outdoor industry. Conservation Alliance grants have helped organizations in their work to protect more than 49 million acres of land, stop or remove 27 dams, and preserve access to thousands of miles of rivers and several climbing areas.
4 – Surfrider Foundation: Ocean Minded proudly supports the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.
5 – Ocean Mined Employee Wellness: The office set up, and especially, the location provides an amazing environment that encourages hard work and provides easy access to the ocean lifestyle we all love. The Ocean Minded crew is highly motivated in tackling this hard economic market and being able to grab a quick lunchtime hour in the ocean or a run on the beach helps to maintain that drive
6 – Ocean Minded Pick Up3: Growing up near the ocean, Cobi Emery developed a passion for clean beaches at an early age. When he was only 10 years-old, Cobi came up with a simple philosophy, that by picking up just three pieces of trash every time you visit the beach you will significantly reduce the world’s ocean pollution. From this idea he founded ‘Pick Up3’, an environmental movement dedicated to helping remove pollution from beaches and waterways. In 2008, Cobi joined forces with Ocean Minded in an effort to spread the ‘Pick Up 3’ message globally. This well matched partnership allows Cobi’s simple idea of cleaning beaches to flourish and spread between communities and eventually the world.
7 – Renewable Materials, Responsible Choices: Ocean Minded’s catalogs and promotional materials are printed in the USA by a Forest Stewardship Council certified printer, using post-consumer recycled paper and UV inks. Just printing our Spring Collection this way preserves 2 trees for the future, saves 1,060 gallons of wastewater flow, and conserves 1,768,000 BTUs of energy
Accomplishments from the Past and Goals for the Future:
While, ‘Be Ocean Minded’ has always been the foundation of the company, being ‘ocean minded’ and living an ‘ocean lifestyle’ extends well beyond the worlds beaches and oceans. Each year it’s more evident that we have to look beyond our immediate environment, everywhere from the mountaintops to the river basins if we want to protect the oceans.
- As the company worked towards creating a model for the beach clean-ups over the years it was apparent that there needed to be a quantifiable system in order to portray the level of work and amount of trash that was being dealt with. In 2008, Ocean Minded started to track the number of beach clean-ups we organized globally (There were 34 clean-ups held that year).
- In, 2009 came the addition of weighing in the pounds of trash removed from each beach clean-up. These numbers help provide a tangible understanding for people – it helps identify that this is a big problem and that a lot can be done by one day at a clean-up.
- In 2010 Ocean Minded took cleanups to various events and races. At Standup Paddle Board (SUP) Races, tradeshows, surf contest, and local community festivals, Ocean Minded hosted cleanups during and after the events which created a larger impact.
- Looking to spread the Live. Protect. Respect message further in 2011, Ocean Minded participated in a unique conservation event, an underwater reef cleanup
- In September 2011, the company partnered with U-Scuba to take 2 dive boats to South China Sea (off Malaysia), where they collected and properly disposed of approximately 133 pounds of trash stuck in the reef.
As we strive to be a leader in sustainability and environmental protection, we understand that it is an ever-changing unending process. Ocean Minded is dedicated to maintaining the current beach clean-ups but to also seeking out opportunities at all elevations, finding the places that need cleaned-up the most and involving the communities in those areas to make the clean-ups happen.
Plans for 2012:
1 – Creativity and Sustainability: Ocean Minded continues its efforts to create footwear, apparel and accessories from the most environmentally friendly materials possible and to seek out new ways to do so. The new line of footwear launching Spring/Summer and Fall 2012 embodies these efforts.
2 – Beach Clean-ups: Ocean Minded has multiple beach clean-ups planned for 2012 and these clean-ups will be posted to the website, Facebook, and Twitter as they are scheduled. It is our intention to continue to increase the frequency, participation and locations of these clean-ups in 2012.