We hope you’ll come to RIISE for trusted recommendations – and we want you to know this is not a responsibility we take lightly. To help navigate the grey areas within the vast and complex realm of sustainability, we’ve created a Climate Credentials framework outlining a scalable set of parameters for the brands we choose to support.
Sustainability is an area rife with greenwashing, misleading information and vague umbrella terms. Likewise, the definition of being a ‘climate positive’ business continues to shift as new technologies, products and services emerge. Coupled with pressures from increasingly conscious consumers (hi, sorry not sorry), many companies find themselves in a period of rapid transition towards environmental betterment. It’s a transition we totally support, don’t get us wrong. But where does that leave us, the humble buyer, in trying to figure out who, exactly, is on the right side of history?
Created in consultation with sustainability consultancy Sonzai Studios, we use the Climate Credentials framework to individually evaluate brands, collections, products and services in relation to their action and impact. While they may not tick every single box (after all, who is perfect?), the framework holds both RIISE and the brand accountable to make sure those who we feature are taking real steps towards meaningful change.
We believe brands should do their best to map their supply chains and understand the origins of resources used, right down to raw material creation. We understand this information isn’t always easy to ascertain, so we’re not looking to harshly grade a brand. What’s just as important is that they’re taking action and communicating honestly about where they’re at on their journey.
As a company’s product offerings or operations grow, so does their impact. We’re looking for brands to demonstrate future planning and goal-setting – backed with the resources to actually follow through on these initiatives and progress to date. This could be through sustainability roadmaps, expert advice or adhering to recognised frameworks (such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals).
Having visibility over the environmental, economic and social impact of a product or service is integral for any brand claiming to be sustainable. Third party partnerships, innovative measurement tools and external accreditations (such as B Corporation) can be used to measure and gain this credential.
Impact reduction involves a business lowering their environmental footprint. There are nine sub-sections within this credential: using renewable energy, CO2 reduction, offsetting, improving transport options, carbon capture, waste/product reduction and responsible packaging. Alternative business models such as made-to-order and hiring platforms are covered in this credential.
In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be any plastic. We advocate for brands who are currently zero-plastic, or on a pathway to getting there. This credential looks at whether a brand is zero virgin plastic or zero recycled plastic at any point in their supply chain and operations from manufacturing to packaging and delivery.
Reuse, repair, refill, rent. A circular economy is essential for minimising waste and provides compelling opportunities for the single-use products already in existence. This credential looks at how a brand implements circular solutions, whether that’s through upcycling, refillable products or using materials with a huge recycling potential (such as aluminium).
Recycled materials have a far lesser impact on the planet than using virgin resources. Recycled materials can be used in all sections of a supply chain including fabrics and packaging. Within this credential, we focus on the recycling of natural materials such as paper, cotton and wool. We only credit a brand, product or collection using recycled plastic if it is certified with the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), ensuring it comes from post-consumer material that has been diverted from landfill or oceans.
We believe it’s a brand’s responsibility to consider the full life cycle of products and packaging, and manage the waste and environmental impact of production. This credential covers initiatives such offering consumer ‘send back’ programs where a brand refills or recycles a product for you. We also look at whether a company responsibly disposes of chemicals and waste.
We want to back the businesses pioneering sustainability in their category through creative solutions, technological advancements and ingenious thinking. This credential looks at whether a brand embraces smart/multifunctional design, cutting-edge eco-fabrics or likeminded collaborations (such as Adidas x Parley).
We want to back brands and products that hold nationally or internationally recognised certifications. This third-party recognition ensures there is lawful conduct behind any sustainability claims a brand may make. Certifications include but are not limited to the use of GOTS certified cotton, FSC certified paper and Woolmark certified wool.