• Sustainability
    • Sustainable Supply Chain

How HSBC helps Vivobarefoot’s mission to get closer to nature

  • Article

VivobarefootTM has a philosophy of trying to connect customers with their natural surroundings, and HSBC’s Green Trade Loan is helping them to achieve it.

How an HSBC Green Trade Loan is helping Vivobarefoot makes its supply chain more sustainable

Key takeaways

  • Shoes are difficult to source and recycle sustainably, but Vivobarefoot is determined to make the most sustainable product it possibly can.
  • The company has worked with HSBC since its inception and when the bank suggested a Green Trade Loan, it knew it was the right solution.
  • The Green Trade Loan will help Vivobarefoot to make its supply chain and manufacturing process more sustainable.
  • A key part of the facility is that Vivobarefoot will report to HSBC on the ESG credentials of the loan.

Galahad and Asher Clark had a mission in mind when they founded Vivobarefoot in 2012. They wanted to make a product that was sustainable, but also one that literally brought its consumers closer to nature.

“Living barefoot is maybe a larger philosophy of life about trying to connect to nature, we're all one people standing on one Earth connected by two feet. And they're pretty much the same feet all over the world,” says Galahad Clark.

Getting closer to nature is not just about people’s wellbeing, but also because if we have that connection, we’re more likely to protect nature and the planet. That protection is also part of the ethos at Vivobarefoot. Its shoes are made from natural naterials that can be composted or from third or fourth generation polymers – a type of plastic that can be chemically recycled and brought back to the same grade of polymer as it was before. Many plastics that are recycled downgrade in quality in the process, ultimately ending up in landfill when they are thoroughly degraded.

Living barefoot is maybe a larger philosophy of life about trying to connect to nature, we're all one people standing on one Earth connected by two feet. And they're pretty much the same feet all over the world.

Galahad Clark | Co-Founder, Vivobarefoot

Sustainable supply chains

Shoes are a particularly difficult thing to recycle because they’re usually made of lots of component materials, from plastics to fabrics to metals to leather.

“We want the whole industry to rise together and solve these problems and we’re proud to be part of a lot of cross-industry efforts to improve the sustainability of supply chains from start to finish,” says Clark.

It's fantastic that HSBC UK can support a business like Vivobarefoot. And the Green Trade Loan further supports Vivobarefoot to stand out from the rest of their competition, allowing their customers, their shareholders and also their employees to know that their finances are sustainable.

Simon Addis | Deputy Regional Director, HSBC UK

Financing new avenues of sustainability

This push towards revamping supply chains is what brought Vivobarefoot to applying for a Green Trade Loan. HSBC has worked with Vivobarefoot since its inception in 2012 and they helped the client to finalise this facility in March 2022. The loan will help make their supply chain and manufacturing process more sustainable. The loan supports the company’s working capital, allowing them, for example, to pay sustainable suppliers in advance.

“It's fantastic that HSBC can support a business like Vivobarefoot. And the Green Trade Loan further supports Vivobarefoot to stand out from the rest of their competition, allowing their customers, their shareholders and also their employees to know that their finances are sustainable,” says Simon Addis, HSBC.

“A key requirement of the Green Trade Loan is for Vivobarefoot to report back to HSBC UK on the ESG credentials of the loan, the environmental sustainability and governance elements that enable them to provide for a healthy brand, a healthy community and healthy planet.”

Vivobarefoot’s Clark is very proud that his company is the first ever recipient of the HSBC UK Green Trade Loan.

“We’ve been working with HSBC UK Trade Finance for quite a few years now to support our working capital as we grow. Our business has doubled in size in the last two years and we plan to double in size in the next two years and that simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of the HSBC UK Green Trade Loan,” he says.

Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK says that every business has a different need when it comes to sustainability and the first step is to have a conversation with HSBC UK to understand those needs.

“To understand your specific needs, it all starts with a conversation, where we explore how we can work in partnership to help you. We can provide you with our local and international support network. We have teams in offices across the UK that can support on sustainable finance needs,” he says.

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