Eco-friendly is a way of life at THOR-LO as we take a “total systems perspective” to being environmentally responsible. This perspective has two key components: product longevity and manufacturing production practices.
Component #1: Product Longevity Often times, eco-friendly is thought about in very narrow terms such as the nature of a single ingredient (e.g. organic) or the environmental impact of simply producing and transporting the good to market for its first use. While these are clearly important components to consider, alone they provide an incomplete, if not misleading understanding of the “environmental cost” of a product through its entire useful life.
Compare for example, the environmental impact of a Thorlos® acrylic based sock to that of a wool organic sock. Conventional wisdom typically jumps to a quick conclusion that a wool organic sock is unquestionably better for the environment. However is this really true when the total systems perspective is taken and viewed over the entire useful life of the product?
What is the environmental impact of a Thorlos sock that lasts 5 years as compared to an organic wool sock that wears out within a year? When one considers that the wool organic sock will probably need to be replaced three to four times during the average life span of a Thorlos sock the conventional wisdom starts to become suspect. With all of the marketing “green-washing” that has occurred, a wool organic sock sounds extremely eco-friendly. But when the true lifetime environmental impact is considered, it’s easy to see that a Thorlos is more eco-friendly.
Component #2: Manufacturing Production Practices Thorlos manufacturing process meets or exceeds all US EPA environmental protection standards. This level of environmental protection exists in few countries outside of the United States.
Therefore, ‘Made in the USA’ is truly ‘green’. While THOR-LO’s does indeed comply with all existing USA regulations, we proactively pursue initiatives that go beyond these. We also support a number of organizations that seek to conserve resources.
Here are the metrics we measure and work on everyday:
- Water and resource conservation and emission control
- Full compliance with wastewater and storm water discharge regulations
- Active spill containment program
- No harmful airborne emissions
- No groundwater leakage or discharge
- No underground storage tanks on our properties, and no asbestos on any of our properties
- Extensive soil sampling and Environmental Site Surveys on all of our properties to assure no contaminants
- Recycling materials and conservation
- Use of recycled or recyclable paper in product packaging
- Recycling of all corrugated cardboard
- Recycling of scrap metal
- Scrap products from manufacturing process used for training and then donated to charitable agencies
- Active participation in and support of local, national and international organizations related to the outdoors and environmental stewardship
And we are also in full compliance with OSHA and EEOC regulations.
Does this really matter? We believe the answer is yes but if you’re not sure, you might be interested in what the Wall Street Journal had to say about textile products made in poorly regulated countries:
“Toxic runoff from China's booming textile industry is one reason why many of the nation's largest rivers resemble open sewers and 300 million people lack access to clean drinking water.”
This is why ‘Made in the USA’ is assuring a product is truly green.
The entire article can be found at: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118580938555882301.html
About THOR•LO® North Carolina based THOR•LO, Inc., the originator of activity specific socks, is committed to providing the ultimate in foot protection and comfort for all consumers. Over 40 years of scientific research stands behind the Thorlos ultimate consumer promise of “Your Feet Will Feel Better or Your Money Back.” All Thorlos sock products are designed to protect the foot from activity-specific demands such as shear, impact and blistering. Thorlos provides its consumers with superior comfort products, which allows them to enjoy their active lifestyles more. Run, walk, hike or everyday wear, there is a pair of Thorlos for everyone, every shoe and every activity.
For more information about Thorlos visit www.thorlo.com.