Quik gives itself a sustainability REPREVE

While it’s good to see Quiksilver’s use of non-virgin petroleum based nylon (via recycled bottles) in 75% of its total boardshort line, I question the use of “Deepens” and “Commitment” to describe this move which they’re, in part, using to evidence their companies overall sustainability. Both “Deepens” and “Commitment” seem to indicate that Quik has been progressively charging towards a greener, responsible goal and with this bold move of increasing their use of rPET  (where many, many others have gone before), they are stepping it up a notch, a deep notch. So, really, how committed is Quik and how deep into this commitment are they?

I don’t pretend to have the answers and maybe some of my points need some straightening (any straighteners out there please speak up), but here’s what I got:

  • A couple years back Quik shut down the head of product sustainability role. Because of the immediate bottom line benefits of saving money on water, energy, transport, etc., I’m sure folks in the product and operations departments take on many of the former sustainability heads’ duties but is removing a specialist a way to deepen commitment?
  • Around the same time Quik’s new management de-funded the Quiksilver Foundation, again I’m sure some of the work was distributed amongst others but is removing the group that was in charge of the companies social/environmental responsibility a way to deepen commitment? Quik is definitely doing some good CSR stuff around the globe but it doesn’t seem to rise to the level of work the Foundation was doing. Interestingly, there’s still a direct link to the Quiksilver Foundation on quiksilverinc.com (under About Us) but the actual Quiksilver Initiative/Foundation site is either really dormant or dead.
  • There are currently 2 organic cotton t’s, out of a shit ton of available t’s, on Quiksilver.com. No, I didn’t look at each description (perhaps some t’s are made out of rPET, bamboo or cotton in transition?) but I did undertake many keyword searches on the site and only the 2 t’s and the aforementioned boardshorts came up. So, again, maybe I’m missing something but how deep and how committed are we when 75% of one product category (admittedly a big one) and .05% of a massive category are greener?

Lastly, and with no segue, this quote by Quik’s CMO: “….Being made from recycled plastic bottles, REPREVE fibers are helping Quiksilver and our consumers make an important contribution to the problem of waste pollution in our oceans.” Look, building boardshorts out of a recycled material (as long as it’s certified, more on that in a second) is a positive and high-five to those that make a greener purchase decision (wether it was conscious or not), but are either of these really “an important contribution to the problem of waste pollution on our oceans”? There are actually people and organizations making important contributions to this problem, Quik and the consumer are doing the right thing, hi-five’s again, but don’t spend too long patting the ol’ back. Regarding the certified issue, it’s actually great to see – per the product description “Traceable recycled Quiksilver Dry Flight Technology 4-way stretch…” – that REPREVE is, you guessed it, traceable as this is an issue with this type of recycled material. There’s actually a cool and legit marketing story here, why is something like this buried in a description nobody reads?

Press Release:

Quiksilver Deepens Its Sustainable Commitment with Expanded REPREVE Product Line

GREENSBORO, N.C. – August 13, 2014 – Quiksilver, Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) has launched its newly designed Quiksilver AG47 New Wave Boardshorts, which are made with REPREVE® fibers. REPREVE fibers are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, and are manufactured by Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI). On average, a pair of Quiksilver AG47 New Wave Boardshorts contains approximately 11 recycled plastic bottles. In addition to Quiksilver’s AG47 collection of boardshorts, Quiksilver now uses REPREVE in more than 75 percent of its total boardshort line.

“We have found a great partner in Unifi for our business,” said Nick Drake, chief marketing officer for Quiksilver. “REPREVE fibers contribute to a fantastic performance material that we’ve incorporated into almost all our boardshort collections. Being made from recycled plastic bottles, REPREVE fibers are helping Quiksilver and our consumers make an important contribution to the problem of waste pollution in our oceans.” The Quiksilver AG47 New Wave Boardshort is constructed using Quiksilver Dry Flight Technology and features four-way stretch with Scotchgard™ Protector Repellent by 3M water repellant, which helps water to bead up and roll off, allowing the fabric to dry quickly.  This dynamic technology extends to the laser-cut, heat-welded panels that offer maximum strength and lightness.  The collection is available in three unique colors: Anthracite, Gargoyle and Blue. With new technology and innovation 45 years in the making, the Quiksilver AG47 New Wave Boardshort is the perfect fit for REPREVE and its #TurnItGreen initiative, which focuses on educating consumers about the importance of recycling and the cool products their recycled plastic bottles can create, thanks to REPREVE. “REPREVE is committed to raising awareness about the importance of recycling, and we strive to align with companies that are equally dedicated to sustainability,” said Roger Berrier, president and chief operating officer of Unifi. “Thanks to Quiksilver and its new AG47 collection of boardshorts, we can show a new wave of individuals how choosing products made with REPREVE can have a positive impact on the environment.” The Quiksilver AG47 collection of boardshorts is sold in Quiksilver stores and on its website at www.quiksilver.com. To learn more about REPREVE and the #TurnItGreen initiative, visit www.REPREVE.com. About Quiksilver: Quiksilver, Inc. is one of the world’s leading outdoor sports lifestyle companies, which designs, produces and distributes branded apparel, footwear and accessories. The company’s apparel and footwear brands, inspired by a passion for outdoor action sports, represent a casual lifestyle for young-minded people who connect with its boardriding culture and heritage. The company’s Quiksilver, Roxy, and DC brands have authentic roots and heritage in surf, snow and skate. The company’s products are sold in more than 90 countries in a wide range of distribution, including surf shops, skate shops, snow shops, its proprietary Boardriders Club shops and other company-owned retail stores, other specialty stores, select department stores and through various e-commerce channels. Quiksilver’s corporate headquarters are in Huntington Beach, California. About REPREVE: REPREVE® is Unifi, Inc.’s (NYSE: UFI) flagship brand of recycled fibers, made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles. REPREVE can be found in products ranging from apparel and hosiery to automotive and industrial applications, and is used by some of the world’s leading brands, including Patagonia, The North Face, Haggar, Quiksilver and Ford. REPREVE’s #TurnItGreen initiative is designed to encourage recycling and raise awareness among consumers that recycled bottles can be turned into cool products they use every day.  For more information about REPREVE, visit www.REPREVE.com; like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. About Unifi: Unifi, Inc. is a multi-national manufacturing company that produces and sells textured and other processed yarns designed to meet customer specifications, and premier value-added (“PVA”) yarns with enhanced performance characteristics.  Unifi maintains one of the textile industry’s most comprehensive polyester and nylon product offerings.  Unifi enhances demand for its products, and helps others in creating a more effective textile industry supply chain, through the development and introduction of branded yarns that provide unique performance, comfort and aesthetic advantages.  In addition to its flagship REPREVE® products – a family of eco-friendly yarns made from recycled materials – key Unifi brands include:  SORBTEK®, REFLEXX®, AIO® – all-in-one performance yarns, SATURA®, AUGUSTA®, A.M.Y.®, MYNX® UV and MICROVISTA®.  Unifi’s yarns are readily found in the products of major brands in the apparel, hosiery, automotive, home furnishings, industrial and other end-use markets.  For more information about Unifi, visit www.unifi.com; to learn more about REPREVE®, visit www.REPREVE.com.