In a time when people are hungry for brands that are good for the environment, it behooves brands to call their products sustainable to cash in on that demand. That unfortunately means the fashion industry is flooded with greenwashing.
But Allbirds has managed to stand out as a respected leader in the space. According to its head of sustainability, Hana Kajimura, the brand’s secret is simple: Walk the walk and be transparent. For example, every Allbirds product has its carbon footprint stamped on it, showing its exact impact on the world. The brand has a constant goal of getting that number as low as possible.
“This year, I was proud to introduce [in July] our Flight Plan to cut our per-unit carbon footprint in half by the end of 2025 and drive it close to zero by 2030,” Kajimura said. “This means that, in 2030, our products will have a carbon footprint of less than one kilogram of CO2e. That’s only possible because of our consistent commitment to transparency and accountability, from being a 100% carbon neutral business since 2019 to labeling all our products with their carbon footprints and open-sourcing our methodology with the industry.”
Kajimura said holding itself accountable is one of Allbirds’ main goals, as is educating consumers around the impact of their choices and consumption. Allbirds has made its methodology for calculating a product’s carbon footprint available, in the hopes that it can serve as an example for other brands in the apparel space. All the tools, documentation and even pre-formatted carbon footprint labels are available free for download to any fashion brand on Allbirds’ website.
Kajimura hopes that, in the future, seeing a product’s carbon footprint printed on it will be as common as seeing nutrition facts on a food package.
And her next big area of focus is regenerative agriculture.
“Our goals are to source 100% of our wool from regenerative sources and to reduce or sequester 100% of our annual on-farm emissions from wool. That will only be possible through a pioneering approach to soil science, farm-level material sourcing, and collaboration between brands, suppliers and farmers,” Kajimura said. “If we’re successful, natural carbon removal at scale will be a critical tool in addressing climate change.”