OUR STORY & COMMITMENT

With over 20 years in the performance sock industry, Balega believes that sustainability and our social responsibility are critical to our shared future and that building superior products means building ethical and sustainable products.  This means getting smarter and more resourceful in how we ideate, design, produce and bring products to our customers. 

 We have significantly advanced our climate strategy, materials management, and human rights due diligence through establishing new best practices and processes, enabling and hiring key staff, and building the institutional muscle to support these programs and goals. The strategies below highlight some of these best practices and results but these and many other key activities will be further detailed in our first annual ESG report and other future public reporting. 


ACHIEVE CLIMATE BENEFITS & OPERATIONAL SUCCESS

The Balega team began working with the nonprofit Climate Neutral in 2022 and kicked off our process to measure our annual carbon emissions for all Balega products. In summer 2023, we finalized our Climate Neutral Certification including demonstrating our current and projected carbon reductions by expanding our recycled polyester blends and our redesign of our packaging to reduce our raw material use and make our packaging fully recyclable. Finally, we purchased carbon offsets in the region we manufacture and to support fire resilience efforts to account for any remaining emissions for our CY 2022 production.

For our Climate Neutral Certification we had to demonstrate our current and projected carbon reductions. Our first goal is to expand our sourcing of recycled polyester blends across additional Balega styles. This will be fully implemented across the 2024 production. Our second reduction goal is expanding our redesign of our packaging to reduce our raw material use and make our packaging fully recyclable. Finally, we purchased carbon offset credits to account for any remaining emissions for our CY 2022 production.

By achieving Climate Neutral Certification, Balega has demonstrated to consumers and stakeholders that Balega is taking and will continue to take significant steps to reduce their environmental impact and mitigate climate change. We selected two projects to compensate for our remaining emissions based on the location of some of current Balega production and our love of the US wilderness and desire to further protect it. We are working with Bonneville Education Fund (BEF) which has vetted these programs.

We are supporting two projects from BEF’s vetted offset programs for Balega’s Carbon Offset of CY 2022. The first project is converting the landfill gas to energy, and aims to prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere while also generating electricity that can be transmitted to the national grid. The benefits of this project extend to the surrounding communities and is located in one of the countries we manufacture our product. We hope this will help those in that region experience a reduction in the negative impact of their solid waste, as well as a decrease in reliance on fossil fuel-powered electricity.

The second project we are supporting is a Fire Resilience Planting program based in the US West Coast. As the frequency and severity of wildfires continue to rise, it has become increasingly urgent to provide aid to affected regions and communities. The program provides assistance to wildfire-affected areas and communities through post-fire tree planting. Post-fire reforestation is crucial to prevent soil erosion, safeguard water quality, revive habitats, and bring hope to those impacted by wildfires.

BUILD RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS

We are working across our suppliers to complete full chain of custody certification of Recycled Polyester and Responsible Wool and Mohair for all our Balega socks. As part of this certification, our manufacturing partners areimproving and testing their systems and purchasing practices to ensure they only accept materials from sources where animals have been treated humanely in the production of these raw materials.

Many of our Balega socks have incorporated recycled plastic in the production of our Drynamix™ moisture-wicking yarn. As of 2024, we are expanding recycled content across our socks and working with our suppliers to complete full chain of custody certification. We aim to complete these certifications by 2025.

UNLOCK GROWTH THROUGH EFFICIENCY & WASTE REDUCTION

We have removed non-recyclable raw materials from our consumer packaging to ensure recyclability. We have focused our initial efforts on 5 brands, including Balega. This has not only reduced waste our consumers and retail partners have to recycle or landfill, but support initiatives to reduce pollution and waste by governments. Our early successes are very encouraging. And we are working with our colleagues and partners globally to support efforts to communicate to consumers how to recycle, resell, and/or repair our products.

We are also re-negotiating contracts with our suppliers to increase the use of recyclable materials, to remove non-recyclable raw materials and to get third-party verification of the recyclability of our products and packaging. As a member of How2Recycle, we have begun to remove elements from our packs that would otherwise inhibit recycling of the packaging such as laminate coating. And we are working with our colleagues and partners globally to support efforts to communicate to consumers how to recycle, resell, and/or repair our products.


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