Merrell is an American clothing and footwear retailer headquartered in Rockford, Michigan,  and founded in 1981 by Rossignol ski company executives Clark Matis and John Schweizerand. It makes clothing, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children.

Merrell specializes in versatile hiking boots and shoes to take you from streambed to summit, and sleek running shoes designed to give you more power over the road or trail. It also sells stylish outdoor apparel that keeps the elements at bay.

Merrell makes shoes with sneaker-light comfort and confidence-boosting support and traction, an improved fit, and increased resistance. It uses eco-responsible, vegan-friendly, recycled materials that provide high comfort and keep the foot in a natural position.

Merrell strives to inspire everyone to explore the outdoors and keep a healthy home environment. It wants to provide the best possible product while preserving the Earth for future generations.

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Sustainability Rating: 4/10

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Category: Clothing, shoes, bags, accessories

For: Women, men, children

Type: Basics, outerwear, activewear, loungewear, underwear, sandals, flats, sneakers, boots, flip flops

Style: Casual

Quality: Medium

Prices: $$

Sizes: 2-16 (US), 6-20 (UK), 36-48 (EU), 6-20 (AU)

Fabrics: Cotton, hemp, lyocell, modal, polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, down

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: No

Recycling: Yes

Producing countries: not transparent enough

Certifications: RDS

Sustainability Practices

Merrell uses a tiny proportion of organic materials such as organic cotton and hemp. It also uses recycled materials such as recycled polyester and regenerated nylon.

Most of the fabrics it uses are either natural without relevant certifications, such as regular cotton, or synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyester and nylon.

Some of its clothes contain semi-synthetic cellulosic fibers such as Tencel lyocell and modal. Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber made with wood pulp from certified sustainable forests.

Merrell doesn't publish a list of all its manufacturers and processing facilities on its corporate website. It doesn't disclose how it chooses its network of suppliers.

Merrell manufactures its clothes in many East Asian countries, where human rights and labor law violations happen every day.

The American clothing retailer doesn't show any labor certification standard that would ensure good working conditions, decent living wages, health, safety, and other crucial rights for workers in its supply chain.

Merrell has Social Compliance Requirements and believes in doing business with factories, agents, and suppliers who embrace and demonstrate high standards of ethical business behavior.

Merrell assesses compliance by factories and other business partners with both announced and unannounced visits. It expects all its to comply with its Social Compliance Requirements.

Merrell doesn't use exotic animal skin, hair, fur, or angora. But it uses leather, wool, and down feathers to manufacture many of its products.

These animal-derived materials are cruel and unethical. They also harm the environment by producing greenhouse gases and waste. More sustainable alternatives exist.

Sustainability Goals

Merrell doesn't measure its energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, chemical release, pollution, or waste across its supply chain. It doesn't have any sustainability science-based targets.

Merrell plans to include recycled, organic, or renewable materials in everything it makes by 2025. It will also reduce shoe and apparel samples by 50%. And it plans to decrease plastic packaging usage.

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