How can such a small pair of underwear be doing such big things for our planet? The answer is simple. To create these pants, we did a whole lot of work to understand the impact our products have. The goal being to make sure they are great for you, while having as small of an impact as possible on our planet.
We knew we couldn’t do it alone. That’s why we partnered with C2Zero to help us offset the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) (commonly called carbon emissions) we couldn’t remove when creating our pants.
How we did it
Creating our Carbon Neutral Seamfree Full Brief was a step-by-step process. We start from a position of making the whole process as sustainable as possible.
- Research - Modibodi’s life cycle analysis (LCA) determined the greenhouse gas emissions in each pant from cradle to grave. Our pant is 2.4kg CO2 equivalent.
- Reduce. We choose fabrics that can reduce impact, and educate customers on product care to save energy (Washing in cold water and line drying).
- Reuse. We test the performance of our pant up to 100 washes to ensure it can be reused time and time again.
- Offset. We partnered with C2Zero who lock away 2.4kg CO2 equivalent by purchasing carbon emission allowances, effectively giving our pants a zero carbon impact.
Our Carbon Neutral Pants are just the first step in a broader set of sustainability commitments including a mission to become a carbon negative business by the end of 2023.
We spoke to Roger Cohen CEO of C2Zero to tell us about how we all play a role in reducing carbon emissions and the power consumers have, by the purchase choices we make.
What is C2Zero and how does it work?
C2Zero is an Australian start-up designed to enable businesses and consumers to disrupt global Emission Trading Schemes and reduce pollution. Each year Governments and regulators around the world issue a controlled number of Emission Allowances which sets an upper limit or “cap” on the available pool of allowances. C2Zero buys Emission Allowances permanently taking them out of the market. Instead of using these allowances to pollute, C2Zero lock them away in their virtual vault. They cannot ever be sold or moved back into the market where they could be accessed by polluters. They are put into a Trust that is bankruptcy remote, meaning it will survive even if C2Zero ceases to exist.
What is carbon neutral?
True carbon neutrality is making sure the greenhouse impact, of a product, service, business or country etc over its entire lifecycle is zero. Greenhouse gas emissions is the full term and is commonly referred to as ‘carbon emissions’ or CO2eq)
How important is climate action now?
Climate change is of vital importance to all of us. Changing our own behaviour and of those around us to limit its effects should be a responsibility, not a choice. Unfortunately, at this time it still is largely a choice. This means that those making the choice to do something are leading what will eventually (and I’m optimistic) become a default.
Creating partnerships to make that choice easier and more accessible will enable more consumers to make a positive impact. Creating products with a focus on low environmental impact and becoming sustainable is already part of the mission for Modibodi. By partnering with C2Zero to compensate for that left over (low) impact, or just quantifying and making consumers aware of it sets a benchmark. Knowing and seeing numbers will in subtle ways alter behaviour.
Overall I’m optimistic. There is enough innovation, focus and sheer resilience from the human race that I believe we will overcome and mitigate climate change. Children procrastinate until the last moment before starting to do their homework, yet most tend to get it done before the deadline. The human race is just the same. The deadline is fast approaching. We will get it done.
Roger Cohen is founder and CEO of C2Zero. Roger started his career as an engineer before moving to work across academia and industry. Although most of his career has been in financial services, he has never lost his fascination with technology. “It is at the intersection of disciplines where opportunities can be found. C2Zero is a perfect example of this. Focusing on a combining finance, regulation and technology means we can enable businesses and individuals to address climate change in a whole new way”. Roger holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Sydney, was a Fulbright scholar in the USA in 1988-89 and serves as an adviser to various academic and industry groups.