What You Need to Know About Fashion and Carbon Emissions
Earth Day is two weeks away, and this year will mark Two Days Off’s second year of carbon neutrality. Two Days Off was founded to make a climate impact. Our founder, Gina, sought out to explore a new way of making clothes while simultaneously doing her part to transform an industry known to be one of the biggest environmental polluters.
Addressing the ongoing climate crisis is an all-hands-on-deck challenge. After a decade working in the public and NGO sectors fighting climate change, Gina came to the realization that companies have a critical role to play in combating the climate crisis. A small fraction of companies know what their carbon footprints look like. Even fewer are actually investing to eliminate them. We believe it is our responsibility to do both of these things.
Climate and the Fashion Industry
Scientists have been talking about climate change for decades, but policymakers have done very little about it, politicizing the slow, yet steady decay of our earth’s natural resources and climates. All of the recent science suggests that we're approaching a point of no return on climate change - and political, economic, and social systems are not responding quickly enough. Humanity's actions in the next 10 years will determine the extent of its impacts over the next century and beyond.
The long-term effects of inaction could be catastrophic and have disproportionate effects on minorities and under-resourced communities. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities in our country suffer more from climate change (read more here) compared to their white counterparts. And those most affected by climate change globally are also among the poorest.
The fashion industry accounts for up to 10% of global carbon emissions, twice that of the entire aviation industry. The fashion industry’s emissions are predicted to continue increasing from 2.1 metric tons to approximately 2.7 metric tons in 2030. With this trajectory, it is predicted the fashion industry will not meet the Paris agreement’s target for 2030 that aims to keep warming well below 2°C, much less the ambitious 1.5°C scientists now advise.
Let’s Talk About Carbon Offsets
As a company, we are committed to measuring, reducing, and ultimately offsetting our carbon emissions. This process gives us net-zero carbon emissions, overseen and certified by the non-profit Climate Neutral.
Carbon offsets are when companies or other entities purchase carbon credits to zero out their own emissions. Carbon credits are generated when an action is taken to eliminate carbon from the atmosphere. So essentially, by offsetting our annual GHG emissions we are investing in projects that either prevent carbon from being emitted, like renewable energy, or remove carbon from the atmosphere, like planting trees. Because these offsets cost money, there is a financial incentive for companies that offset to reduce their emissions as much as possible; there is a price for the carbon they emit. As the World Bank explains:
Instead of dictating who should reduce emissions where and how, a carbon price provides an economic signal to emitters, and allows them to decide to either transform their activities and lower their emissions, or continue emitting and paying for their emissions.
In 2020, Two Days Off was among the first-ever cohort of Climate Neutral Certified brands. We measured and offset 100% of our 2019 carbon emissions that come from making and delivering our products. We do this with Climate Neutral, a nonprofit that helps brands decrease, track, and offset their carbon emissions leading the brands to become ‘climate neutral. And this year we are on track to do the same.
To learn more about our climate action view our Climate Neutral profile and sustainability page. And to learn more about how you can support brands carbon-neutral or ask brands to take responsibility for their carbon footprint visit Climate Neutral’s consumer’s page.