Sanuk is shoe brand owned by the same company, Deckers, that UGG is owned by. Right off the bat, this is a good sign. From what we know about UGG and how they treat the animals and produce their shoes, we have reason to believe that Sanuk should be doing the right things well it comes to labor rights and practices.
As a whole, Deckers is very conscious of their impact on human rights and the environment. This is the ideal concerted effort from such a big company – one we would like to see implemented in many big brands today. Their former CEO, Cuban-born Angel Martinez, led the company in this early on. From humble beginnings and a strong work ethic, he worked his way up to be a CEO of a American corporation Reebok. It was then that he developed his passion and concern for human rights as the motor of his career. Starting human rights awards for executives and a concert tour with Amnesty International to bring awareness for social injustices are just a few examples of his initiatives. He brought these motives into his position at Deckers, even requiring executive leaders to be on the boards of non-profits to share wisdom.
With a CEO laying such a foundation, Sanuk works to keep their products made from eco-friendly materials as much as they can. But, more importantly, they have strategic partnerships in their supply chain. They believe that the work of fighting for global human rights is continual – never ending – just like we do.
Deckers takes responsibility to know their whole supply chain from top to bottom, and choose locations and plants carefully while continuing on to monitor them carefully afterwards. They have plants in SoCal and Cleveland in the US, and then the Philippines and Hong Kong overseas.
In 2013, they began a new platform that would increase their visibility into their supply chain through a constant data cloud of statistics and information, improving their knowledge of what is happening within their already-simple supply chain. The goal was to see what is truly happening in all three areas: factories, packaging, and transit.
They also hold themselves to ESC Scorecard, which fails every company who even shows a hint of engagement with zero-tolerance issues such as child labor, fair wages, working condition safety, etc. Each year, they are measured on this scorecard as well as on the environmental footprint of every factory they source from. They also specify their exact approach for corrective action for areas of violation or improvement. Finally, they have an open list of every factory they source from, offering complete transparency.
As its own entity aside from Deckers, Sanuk partners with 1% For the Planet, an environmental philanthropy cause started by Patagonia. They also donate quite a bit of money to an organization that provides free cleft palette surgery for children in developing countries.
Sanuk is a wonderful example of a child brand that is building upon the foundation set for it by the parent company. The leadership of Deckers has set apart human rights as a priority, resulting in labor ethics and supply chains we know are transparent and just.
Written by: Madeleine Williams