Interview with the founder of hylo athletics
In today’s interview, we talk to Michael Doughty, the proud Founder of HYLO Athletics to learn about the incredible story behind this innovative brand.
HYLO Athletics are a sportswear brand, with a difference. HYLO creates high-performance running shoes made entirely from sustainable materials, which are better for the planet and eradicate the need for petroleum-derived materials. From production and packaging to afterlife care, the impact of every shoe is carefully considered to ensure athletes can perform at their best while protecting the planet.
Thank you for wanting to be part our exclusive network. What were your reasons for joining us and investing in the Ethical Brand Directory / Academy and community?
We were kindly invited by the founder. We always have an interest in platforms that enable the message of Hylo to be spread far and wide and we are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our products
Can you give me a brief overview of your brand and the type of products you sell?
We create products that deliver high performance and low impact for the Planet. Our first product is a running shoe
What are the 3 most important things that people should know about your brand?
We focus on renewable materials
We are carbon negative
We are a movement of Athletes for Planet
What was your WHY? What inspired you to set up your business?
In a former life, I played professional football and saw first hand the impact that sport was having on its environment. I also saw how sport was an incredible source of inspiration and the brand that somebody wore, was a representation of their values and beliefs. I, therefore, wanted to create a sports company that fought to protect the future of sporting environment and that gave athletes products to wear that supported their performance and improved their impact.
What challenges do independent brands like yourself face?
1. Stock. It is always very hard to assess demand when you have a sales platform (online) that is very quick and a slower supply chain
2. Marketing. It is also a difficult challenge to balance concise messaging whilst explaining some of the complexities involved in the problem you are trying to solve
3. Costs of material innovation. When you are obsessed by bringing the best materials to market for Athletes, it can also lead to a higher cost of goods.
Why is it important to be ethical in business?
We have a small amount of time to change the course of our future, which currently does not look too bright but I believe wholeheartedly in 1% improvements and the incremental gains leading to a huge impact
What is the link to your page on ethics on your website?
What steps are you taking to ensure your brand operates as ethically as possible?
We are members of the SAC (sustainable apparel coalition), open apparel registry and give 1% of net revenue to Common Goal, a charity supporting social issues.
We do LCA’s (life cycle assessments) on all of our products, calculating their carbon footprint and then offsetting them by twice their impact.
We conduct annual 3rd party audits of our supply chain to ensure they are complying with our Hylo supply chain standards policy and more importantly global labour laws
How important is sustainability for businesses? What are you doing in your business to reduce your environmental impact?
Incredibly. Most of the answers above apply to this
What are you not doing in your business but want to improve on?
We would like to improve some of the materials we work with as you can always find better materials for the Planet. Our main focus though is ensuring that each our material choices does not downgrade the product experience for the customer or else we will not succeed in changing habits in the long term. We would also like to be able to extend our audit process deeper into our supply chain but currently that is not feasible with our limited resources
What is the link to your page on sustainability on your website?
What is your supplier and sourcing policy?
We have an extensive supply chain standards document which is attached below
In 10 years from now where would you like to see the fashion/beauty/travel world? From a business and a consumer perspective
An objective market where people can see the impact of all of the products they are buying and therefore make better choices
Do you have any favourite ethical and sustainable quotes, or any key influencers that inspire you?
Why should the general public care about supporting ethical and environmentally responsible brands?
It is an existential question now about changing our behaviours to exist!
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