Since 2002, Crocs have created revolutionary footwear products for the general public starting first in the United States and then expanding to the international market. This includes their standard Classic Clog which comes in a variety of colors and customizable appearances. As a footwear company classic, the Crocs Classic Clog has generated multi-million dollar revenues which correlates to the high popularity of Crocs among the public. However, the further environmental and social implications of the Crocs Classic Clog product life cycle remain problematic. The ESG commitments Crocs have stated they are working towards are fuzzy with promises that do not align with the actual environmental friendliness of Crocs clogs in its manufacturing and production. With Crocs’ brand identity in its foam clogs, it is hard to discern how dedicated they are to improving the environmental production process of Classic Clogs. Overconsumption of Crocs Clogs, by purchasing different colors and trendy styles, has become marketed as a positive consumer experience but consumers should remain wary of the environmental impact in doing so.
The Crocs Classic Clog is made out of their trademarked material called Croslite. This material is not rubber or plastic but a closed cell resin raw material. This foam resin is the foundation for the durability and light-weight composition of the Crocs Classic Clog. However, by using Croslite to make Crocs, this inhibits Crocs Classic Clogs from being recycled into a new product. Crocs clogs then are not biodegradable and they may end up living in landfills or being donated to other people. While the entire Clog body is made of Croslite, Crocs Clogs can be further customized with Jibbitz charms which are also made out of non-renewable materials. This can add to the negative environmental impact of Crocs Clogs since the only way to further the product life cycle is by giving old Crocs a new owner.
Through the combination of a polymer compound under high pressure in gas, Croslite is formed from crude oil. Crude oil is a known fossil fuel that is generally extracted from below the ground or ocean. This process releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which makes the production of millions of Crocs Clogs questionable in the sustainability realm. Crocs gets some raw materials, assembles, and distributes their products across the U.S. However, Crocs also outsources labor from other countries like China and Vietnam in order to produce Croslite. This outsourcing process has reduced their production costs compared to only domestically producing Crocs Clogs. Outsourcing in international factories has its own environmental and labor implications since the supply chain relies on low costs and consistent overseas shipping.
Crocs was founded in 2002 and the current CEO of Crocs is Andrew Rees. In their ESG webpage, they state that they aim to follow the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board framework. In the product development aspect, they want to improve product/packaging sustainability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help improve the sustainability of the end-of-life cycle for their products. In their company culture, they want to promote sustainability by reducing GHG emissions in their offices, stores, and factories. Crocs also discuss how they want to become more ethical in their social and governance goals by investing in diversity, philanthropy, and labor equity. However, there is no outlined data supplied where they explain how they are improving. Crocs have outlined a good mission statement through this ESG webpage. However, the manufacturing and product composition of Crocs Clogs become contradictory to their ESG goals and serve investors more than the consumer wanting to participate in more sustainable shopping.