• Photo courtesy of Rip Curl.
    Photo courtesy of Rip Curl.

Kathmandu Holdings has released its first combined Sustainability Report since the acquisition of Rip Curl in 2019. 

The report brings to life the positive impacts of all three brands – Kathmandu, Rip Curl and Oboz – across the spectrum of ethical and sustainable practices.

Highlights from the report include; Kathmandu's Rainbow Tick certification in New Zealand for embracing diversity and inclusion; Oboz's growth to 41% female representation in its team; and, Rip Curl's sustained B+ grade for two years running in the Ethical Fashion Report. 

Kathmandu CEO Reuben Casey said the business was thrilled to be recognised for the work it has done on inclusivity and diversity. 

"We were ecstatic to be recognised at the 2020 New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards, winning the Simpson Grierson Impact Award for our transgender visibility, awareness, and inclusion program.

"This award highlights Kathmandu’s achievements across all pillars of sustainability.

"Through cultivating inclusive workplace initiatives, we are able to foster a positive and progressive workplace," he said. 

Each brand is also taking steps to reduce its environmental impact and improve the materials it uses. 

Kathmandu has recycled 30 million plastic bottles through its Repreve product ranges and has also saved 40 million bottles of fresh water by moving to solution-dyed fabrics. 

Meanwhile, 3.3 million trees have been planted since Oboz started and the footwear brand has also launched ranges that include recycled materials and algae bloom insoles. 

For the first time in its 51-year history Rip Curl, the newest business to the Kathmandu Holdings portfolio, is sharing its sustainability metrics.

The business has made a commitment to develop its sustainability strategy and work towards a B-Corp certification. 

Rip Curl CEO Michael Daly said that in the short time the business has been with Kathmandu, it has already taken positive steps. 

"In this period, we’ve increased the recycled plastic in our polybags by 30% and are now using FSC Certified recycled paper swing tags on all our products," he said. 

Group CEO Xavier Simonet added that the priority for the company is to expand its ethical certifications across the entire business. 

"As our family of businesses grows, we have new opportunities and new challenges.

"We can leverage each of our strengths to work together for an even greater impact.

"The challenge in the coming years will be to bring our B Corp certification and Fair Labor Organisation accreditation across the group," he said. 

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