Putting a Lid on Carbon Dioxide
The Cali Wool Beanie The North Face
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.