We have known Paul, our maker and business mentor, for over eight years. Paul and his family have been in the footwear business for more than four decades and have played a crucial role in helping us design, manufacture and evolve the Radical Yes! brand. Speaking honestly, Radical Yes! would not exist if it weren’t for his support.
Paul’s factory is located in Shenzhen, just over the border of Hong Kong in Southern China. At least four times per year we pay a visit to the factory; this is a pivotal point in our product development process that also puts us in the unique position of being able to vouch for the high standards and ethical working conditions of our manufacturing operations.
In addition to being BV Audit approved, our factory supplies us with an annual BSCI Report (Business Social Compliance Initiative) conducted by the Foreign Trade Association, further assuring us that working hours are contained, that the minimum working age for workers in China (16 years) is adhered to, that overtime is bing paid and that factories are safe, well-lit and regularly checked for OH&S standards.
Core to the Radical Yes! ethos is our commitment to designing and producing high quality, durable products that will support our customers in their active lifestyles. As such, we:
- Are dedicated to using superior leather, suede, cotton, linen and nickel free hardware in our shoes
- Avoid the use of plastics and synthetics in our upper selections and also in all packaging materials
- Produce our outsoles from highly durable plant based rubbers with a minimum 85% pure rubber content to ensure longest life and least environmentally impacting in terms of production methods
- Use non-animal glues across our full range
- Introduced a vegan collection, consciously electing a full textile offer rather than Polyurethane or ‘leather look’ materials (keep an eye out for our polka dot insoles)
- Hand source our materials ourselves from wholesale markets well-regarded for their high standards, in the province of Guangzhou
- Can confirm that as far back as we can trace, all raw materials have been produced within China (and not imported from countries where Cotton practices pose serious ethical and human rights abuse issues such as in Uzbekistan)
- Are working towards a point where we are produce enough units to afford made-to-order specified materials, thus guaranteeing the supply chain’s history beyond the marketplace from which it’s sourced
As a small business in a fast moving industry, it can be challenging to effect change while employing the many sustainable practices that we'd wish to. For us 'sustainability' and our suitable practices exist on a never ending continum of improvement. In this way we are always looking at new practices that alleviate our impact on the environment and continually look to uncover viable alternatives that will do so. Currently, we:
- Offer a vegan collection that avoids the use of Polyurathane or ‘leather look’ materials that fails to break down, typically ending up in landfill.
- Only use animal free glues in our shoes.
- Package all shoes in tissue, not plastic.
- Send customers their receipt via email rather than paper.
- Do not use plastic bags. With each purchase our customers receive a gorgeous reusable canvas draw-string bag which often goes on to serve myriad purposes.
- Send 90% of our production via the sea rather than air freight.
- Design our shoes to be worn time and time again (not to be made redundant after a single event).
- Strongly promote active lifestyle choices that support the use of public transport and the power of walking. Customers that present their Myki in-store will receive a 10% discount on their purchase.
When developing our products, we are careful to consider the entire lifecycle from conception, production and wear to disposal. Our shoes have been designed to withstand and support active lifestyles perpetually in motion.
When you feel it’s time to part with your toe-tappers, we encourage you to bring them in for our #toetappertrade initiative in partnership with Wear For Success (you’ll also receive $25 off your next purchase)!
We have also consistently only used quality leathers and textiles so that when it’s time to put your Radical Yes! shoes to rest, you can be assured that they will break down easily.