Putting a Lid on Car­bon Diox­ide

The Cali Wool Beanie The North Face

Fast Company - - World-Changing Ideas -

On a sprawl­ing ranch in the foothills of a Cal­i­for­nia moun­tain range, placid herds of sheep at Bare Ranch are part of an ex­per­i­ment to prove that wool pro­duc­tion can help fight cli­mate change. By man­ag­ing where sheep graze, plant­ing trees and cover crops, and for­ti­fy­ing fields with com­post, the ranch now ab­sorbs more car­bon diox­ide than it emits. Its farm­ing prac­tices trap around 4,000 met­ric tons of car­bon diox­ide a year, off­set­ting the emis­sions from about 850 cars. Work­ing with the non­profit Fiber­shed, funded by a grant from the North Face, the ranch first started cre­at­ing a “car­bon farm” plan in 2014; in 2016, Bare Ranch be­came the first large-scale sheep op­er­a­tion in the U.S. to com­plete this type of trans­for­ma­tion. Af­ter proof that the changes on the ranch were se­ques­ter­ing CO2, the North Face chose the new cli­mate-ben­e­fi­cial wool for its Cali Wool Beanie, which launched in late 2017. “Of­ten, prod­ucts are try­ing to be less bad and re­duce their en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,” says James Rogers, the North Face’s se­nior sus­tain­abil­ity man­ager. “This ac­tu­ally has a pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.” The hats sold out on­line within a few weeks, and the North Face will launch a new scarf and jacket made with the wool this fall.

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