Offset Gear Soft Launch!
We’re ready to go! After months of planning, hesitation, hard work, more hesitation, Offset Gear is finally ready to soft launch our website, store, and climate education content. In this short post, we want to explain what exactly Offset Gear is and outline our mission to create a sustainable, carbon negative clothing company alongside a blog detailing some of the up and coming climate technologies, terms, and news in this world of fast fashion and high consumption. We hope you take the time to read the following and take a look at the store afterwards to check out our carbon negative clothing.
Who Are We?
Offset Gear, while fronting as a clothing and sustainable product company, is so much more than just clothes and other products. We are a carbon negative company producing carbon negative products and raising awareness for the climate crisis our planet is currently being plagued by. Ok, sure, but what does it mean to be carbon negative?
Glad you asked.
Carbon neutral and carbon negative are terms that describe how much carbon you are contributing to the environment. Carbon neutral describes a company, group, or an individual that contributes 0 net carbon into the atmosphere. There are a couple ways to pull this off. The first way is to submit no carbon to the atmosphere by living a carbon free lifestyle. Bicycling or walking to get around, shopping at waste free locations or growing your own food, and other lifestyle choices that eliminate carbon contributions from your life. In reality, it’s between hard and next to impossible to go completely carbon neutral. Everything we do or interact with on a day to day basis has contributed some amount of carbon to the atmosphere at some point down the line. Whether it’s simple things like purchasing a vegetable at the grocery store (farming and shipping) or putting on your favourite shirt, carbon is emitted at one point or another.
So how are we supposed to get to carbon neutral let alone carbon negative?
That’s where option number two comes into play: carbon offsets.
Carbon offsets are reductions in carbon emissions that you can purchase through various organizations in the form of donations to projects that will remove carbon from the atmosphere directly or help communities remove carbon indirectly. Think wind projects, solar projects, clean water, and sanitation. Offsets essentially replace the carbon you have emitted with carbon removed through projects unrelated to you. If you purchase offsets for projects removing carbon in the amount equal to what you have contributed to the environment, this is considered carbon neutral.
Being carbon negative is exactly what you’re probably thinking it is. When you purchase offsets that will take out more carbon than you have contributed, the net result is a negative amount of carbon pulled out of the atmosphere or in other words, you are pulling more carbon out than you are putting in.
How is Offset Gear Helping the Environment?
If you read the above paragraph, you’re aware that carbon offsets are a useful tool for theoretically pulling carbon out of the atmosphere to offset the carbon you put in. How effective these offsets are is covered in another one of our blog posts: Are Carbon Offsets Effective?
Read it? Awesome.
Let’s dive into how we’re using carbon offsets (effective, or not quite so effective) to offset the carbon emitted though our manufacturing process.
This is done in a few ways: 1. Finding ethical and eco friendly clothing manufacturers, 2. Making sure those manufacturers are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) compliant, and 3. Ensuring the material we use to make the clothing is more and more eco conscious as the company grows.
In reference to point number one, we are currently working on finding t-shirt manufacturers that produce more sustainable clothing than we use today. At the moment, we are just getting started and have opted to go with eco friendly organic cotton shirts. While these are a good option, bamboo and recycled materials are better for the environment and create a better product. We will be migrating to those materials as we progress as a company.
Point number two, WRAP compliance, refers to the worldwide responsible accredited production program. According to their website:
"WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education."
Making sure that the factories we source our clothing from is WRAP compliant allows us to feel more comfortable about how our clothing is made. We also look to have fair trade options available in the future.
And finally our third point aligns with the first point while not being exactly the same. In the first point, we look to find manufacturers that use eco friendly processes while in this point we are looking to find solely eco friendly materials. As mentioned, our hunt is continuous in looking for more eco conscious materials to fabricate our clothing from.
Originally when starting this venture, I wanted to provide information in an easy to digest, interesting way to educate people not only on the impacts of climate change, but on the ways people are using technology and other techniques to fight it. The blog will be mainly focused on posts relating to climate action and new technologies as well as some case studies on different countries and people who are doing it right when it comes to reducing their climate footprint. In the future we hope to launch a weekly newsletter to educate people on the news of the week as it pertains to the climate. Whether that be good or bad, we feel it is important that people know what is going on.
Going forward, I hope you enjoy the content we will be producing and the clothing we will be selling. I know I am going to enjoy the journey and I'm hoping you'll come along for the ride!