Lafuma Turn Over a 'Pure Leaf'


Lars, on reading our post on Yvon Chouinard, suggested we might also have a look at the environmental endeavours of French based outdoor company Lafuma. Thanks for the tip Lars. Started way back in 1930, Lafuma, who have annual sales of about € 250 million, turned their attention to the eco aspects of their business back in the the 1990’s. Some of this process became known as the Pure Leaf project. As to be expect they began to offer some greener products, as the pics above show. The pants and shirts use a blend of hemp and recycled polyester. The footwear shown also have uppers of hemp. The Kenema boot, designed for day hiking, was just launched this northern summer. As well as hemp uppers (and laces), it also features vegetable tanned nubuck leather, a natural rubber midsole, and a tongue padded with recycled polyester. A portion of its sales are donated to WWF. The parent company also controls other businesses, like the surf oriented Oxbow, who plan to move 30% of their clothing line to organic cotton by 2008. And yesterday we noted the recycled climbing rope program from Millet, another Lafuma company. Below the fold we take a quick peek at some other changes afoot.Many of the following enviro and social endeavours were taken from the company’s 40 page Sustainable Development 2005 Report, available as a PDF download (2MB).

• The Oxbow group will also be making apparel from algae-based Seacell

• Lafuma’s subscontractors have to sign both a social an environmental charter, and maintain the agreed standards or risk losing the business relationship

• 37 audits have been carried out on such contracting factories. 11 were asked to make improvements.

• Auditors are trained and accredited by Social Accountability International (SAI)

• Their footwear operation saved 1,500 kilos of rubber waste per month through a sorting a reprocessing system

• Savings of 120 kilometers of plastic wrap were made by implementing measures to avoid repackaging

• Energy use is monitored at Lafuma sites to track reductions

• Freight of goods is being moved to rail and river, to reduce road and air transport

• Introduction of specific eco-products has doubled in the past 4 years.

• A Sustainable Development steering committee meets every 3 months, in the presence of representatives from WWF, in order to evaluate progress, coordinate actions and set new objectives.