At Orthoquest we work hard to maintain our core values in every decision we make and every product we bring into the store. One of our values is to honour our planet and all living beings by emphasizing a sustainable work environment, business, and community. We are in no means perfect, but we want to share different ways that we strive to maintain our value of honouring the environment in the products we carry, around the office, and various initiatives we support.
PRODUCTS WE CARRY
When we look at new brands and products to bring in there are a number of different things we look for specific to what our clients needs and demands are. But, other things we take into consideration are each company’s values and how they align with our own when selling or using their products. There are a couple of brands that really stand out in our minds:
For us carrying Brooks was an easy decision, not only do they lead most of the charts for having the best running shoe, but they also work hard behind the scenes to reduce their companies environmental impact.
Everything from their certified LEED Platinum headquarters using 79% less energy than a typical office, using more recycled content and bluesign approved materials in their products, and maximizing their material efficiency so more materials ends up in the final product versus waste.
It’s simple things too like their shoes boxes, since 2009 Brooks has been able to:
- Switch to lighter paperboard, saving 12 million pounds of material
- Used 100% recycled and recyclable material, saving more than 465,000 trees
- Removed shoe stuffing, saving almost 1.5 million pounds of material (‼️)
- Optimized shoe box dimensions, allowing them to ship 15% more shoes boxes per shipping container
Who knew such simple things could make such a difference! You can feel more comfortable wearing your Brooks runners knowing they come from a company also striving for sustainability.
Sole sandals have become a summer staple for most of our clients as they are a great, supportive “flip-flop” option that can withstand all the adventures summer brings. This year Sole introduced a new component to their beloved sandal called BLOOM. BLOOM is the world’s first plant-based, performance driven, foam formulated with algae biomass. Algae is a renewable biomass feedstock that cleans the environment and reduces the risk of algae blooms while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Why algae? Due to the rise in global temperatures, excess nutrient runoff, and human activities contributed to an uncontrolled rise in algae growth – harming plant, animal, and human life – and greatly impacting aquaculture industries. There is an over abundance of highly renewable non-food feedstock wreaking havoc on our waterways, that we can turn into something positive!
In one pair of BLOOM sandals, 225 bottles of filtered water are returned to the environment and 21 balloons of CO2 are kept from entering the atmosphere.
AROUND THE OFFICE
Working with clients can be challenging when it comes to reducing paper use because there are intake forms, assessment forms, referrals, and various other documents and information that must be recorded, kept, and given to clients.
A solution we found to help us strive to be paperless is laminating our intake forms. It helps us gather the information we need for each client, record it into our secure client database, and not waste a single piece of paper. Although this does get us a lot of funny looks and questions like “You want me to write on this plastic thing?!”
Another way we try to keep our office paperless is by eliminating post-it notes. Who LOVES post-it notes?! While they are great reminders of upcoming events, projects you have on the go, things you don’t want to forget, or even quick grocery lists- they can unfortunately produce a lot of waste.
One way that we have found to reduce the use of post-it notes in our office is using online apps (like Google notes or monday.com) to make “to-do” lists, schedule and plan various projects, and communicate to staff members.
INITIATIVES WE SUPPORT
To give a brief history of this incredible organization, it started in 2010 when Jim Belshaw, owner of Roy’s Shoe Repair here in Kelowna heard the news about Haiti’s earthquake. Being a cobbler, he realized that they would be in great need of footwear to prevent further injury, infection, and sickness from walking through the devastation. After receiving an overwhelming amount of donations and support, Belshaw realized the need for shoes in our own community as well, and that’s just what he did!
We are proud to be a drop off location for the Shoe Bank of Canada. What does that mean?! It means next time you find a pair of shoes tucked into the back of your closet, instead of throwing them in the garbage, you can bring them to us and instead of a landfill they will go to someone in need.
ReCORK is North America’s largest natural wine cork recycling program. They began in 2008 by a Canadian footwear company SOLE (which is proudly carry too). They have collected over 91 million corks to date and repurposed them into insoles, sandals, and yoga blocks. We are proud to be not only a partner with ReCORK, but also carry a number of products made of recycled cork. Instead of throwing away your natural wine corks drop them off at Orthoquest and we will gladly accept them and make sure they are repurposed!
While we are far from perfect, we try every day to help reduce waste, reuse, and recycle where we can in order to help keep our planet a little more green. At the end of the day, we all can do our plant in helping our planet. What are some ways you can reduce your environmental footprint?
Written by Shayla Mclean, BHKIN – Practicing Kinesiologist & Footwear Manager