During 2017 there has been increased focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and how companies can lead the charge. Many companies are working to improve their supply chains, but rarely share the progress with consumers at the product level. Recently, one company was able to create a supply chain innovation and design a product that shares the initiative with consumers in an easy, accessible way.
The North Face has partnered with Fibershed, an organization that focuses on regional textile production, to help fund a “carbon farming” plan at a California farm. By making small changes like planting short-term crops, layering compost and planting more trees, the ranch is now producing “climate beneficial” wool, which is used in the new “Cali Wool” beanie. Based on the pilot program, the ranch expects to remove 4,068 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere annually, offsetting emissions equivalent to 865 passenger vehicles a year. “Generally, in trying to be more sustainable, you are reducing the environmental impact, or being ‘less bad,’” says James Rogers, senior sustainability manager, The North Face. “This is an example of actually being ‘more good,’ where the product is actually part of the solution.” And The North Face has already seen the success of the program; the hat, which launched in September, has quickly skyrocketed to North Face’s top selling beanie.
While many supply chain issues are complex and kept behind the scenes, The North Face brought its supply chain innovation to the forefront. By sharing news of its latest advancement as part of the product attribute, consumers could easily learn and engage with the wool movement; bringing them along on The North Face’s supply chain journey in an accessible way. And due to the product’s increasing popularity, The North Face is looking to expand the line in 2018, helping to further amplify its message while making an impact.