“Warm your dome, not the globe” is the new slogan for a Northface beanie that is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but also ultra beneficial to the planet. In collaboration with Bare Ranch (and with scientific direction/verification from Fibershed, an organization that focuses on regional textile production), Northface is sourcing sustainable wool from ranchers who are able to sequester large amounts of CO2 (carbon) as they raise their sheep.  Fastcompany is reporting that the estimated carbon offset for a year by ranchers through this sequestration is about 4000 metric tons (or about the emission from about 850 cars).  Ranchers with the aid of researchers came to understand that although almost all farming is theoretically carbon reducing due to the fact that crops help alleviate the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, there are some practices on farms such as rearing livestock, applying certain fertilizers, leaving land fallow, etc. that can negatively impact the atmosphere or cause farms to be at best carbon-neutral.  However, diligent research has shown that focusing on a well-thought-out sustainable plan can actually help farms become carbon negative (reversing bad impact). Practices such as reducing the amount of fallow time of the land between crop seasons by planting short term economical (and environmental) accretive crops such as sorghum, intermixing soil nourishing crops such as  daikon and radishes with focus crops like winter wheat, carefully managing grazing of livestock, planting trees on the property, etc. are ways in which the environment can be positively impacted rather than carbon just neutralized.

Northface through market and environmental research realized that by sourcing wool from such farms as Bare Ranch, the impact of its manufacturing process on the environment can be greatly reduced.  Northface figures that sustainable-sourced wool, coupled with the reduction of processing chemicals and the use of renewable energy to power its production plants can have a profound positive environmental effect.  The key lies in whether customers will actually reject other less sustainable options and gravitate towards products like the Northface beanie.  Judging from the popularity of the beanie, it seems that the right choice is being made by consumers.

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