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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Hush Puppies

Is Hush Puppies a good shoe, trainer and boot choice for ethical shoppers?

Our independent team of researchers have assessed Hush Puppies across 15 criteria, which ascertain this brand’s business activity and ethical (or unethical) practices. Unfortunately, Hush Puppies does not yet reach The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Benchmark and therefore cannot be counted as a good, ethical brand for consumers conscious about the Environment, Animals and People.

When was Hush Puppies founded?

Hush Puppies was founded in 1958 by Wolverine, who wanted to develop a casual and soft shoe, using pig skin. Though hugely popular in the late 1950s, Hush Puppies were on the decline until the 1990s, when they became fashionable amongst alternative and edgy trendsetters.

But is Hush Puppies a sustainable brand? And why does this brand not reach our Ethical Benchmark?

One of the criteria that The Good Shopping Guide assesses is a brand or company’s Environmental Report. Whilst there is a Global Impact Report 2020 from Wolverine World Wide that focuses on many brands and what they’re doing to become more sustainable. But for such a sizable corporation, this report is insufficient and lacking in information and detail.

The Good Shopping Guide was pleased to see that Wolverine World Wide does have a Code of Conduct, allowing consumers and consumer information guides to hold brands to account for their labour practices.

However, in an assessment by the Fashion Transparency Index, brands owned by Wolverine World Wide received a score of 11%, indicating that while some attempts are made to control and enhance its supply chains, there is little publicly available supply chain information. The highest score was 73%, and the average was 23%.

Is Hush Puppies Cruelty-Free?

As for its Animal Welfare Policy, the parent company, Wolverine World Wide does not mention any certified-Vegan shoes or trainers but states that:

“Several of our brands choose to offer vegan products, which do not directly contain any animal products. When we do decide to use animal-derived materials, we are committed to ensuring they come from animals treated humanely. For example,

 • All goose or duck feathers in our products are Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified.

 • We are working to ensure that all wool comes from sheep that are humanely raised and are not mulesed.

 • All of our leather is a byproduct of the meat industry and we’re partnering with the LWG to increase traceability further up the supply chain.

 • Any fur used in our products is a byproduct of the meat industry.

 • We expressly prohibit the use of exotic leathers and those that come from endangered species”

For consumers concerned about Animal Welfare, please be aware that several brands owned by Wolverine World Wide may contain woollen products that have been obtained from sheep that have been mulesed, or have been otherwise inhumanely treated.

What is mulesing? (Content Warning: animal cruelty)

Mulesing is a procedure carried out by some sheep farmers in an effort to prevent flystrike, a painful and fatal condition where fly larvae bury into a sheep’s woolly folds of skin and eat the flesh of the sheep. Mulesing cuts these wrinkly folds away, but it can be an uncomfortable procedure for sheep. It would be better to breed sheep that do not have wrinkly folds in their skin, and so are not as susceptible to flystrike, or to avoid using wool or animal products altogether. Merino sheep are particularly vulnerable to flystrike and so this breed is often mulesed.

The RSPCA is pushing the wool industry and sheep farmers to develop breeds that are resistant to flystrike.

How could Hush Puppies improve its Ethical Score and could this brand apply for Ethical Accreditation from The Good Shopping Guide?

Hush Puppies could improve its Good Shopping Guide Ethical Score by working with parent company Wolverine World Wide to improve both its Environmental Report and its Animal Welfare Policy and practices. Hush Puppies has many unethical business practices to address before it would likely be considered for Ethical Accreditation by The Good Shopping Guide.

Ethical performance in category

0

GSG score

50
64

GSG category benchmark

100

Ethical Rating

Environment

  • Environmental Report

    Poor

  • Nuclear Power

    Good

  • Sustainable Materials

    Good

Animal

  • Animal Welfare

    Good

  • Vegetarian/Vegan

    Poor

People

  • Armaments

    Good

  • Code of Conduct

    Good

  • Political Donations

    Poor

  • Ethical Trading Schemes

    Poor

  • Human Rights

    Good

Other

  • Ethical Accreditation

    Poor

  • Other Criticisms

    Poor

= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating