San Francisco-based home goods and apparel maker Coyuchi is taking a stand on climate change alongside a group of industry leaders in fashion, agriculture and sustainability.
Launching this week, the Coyuchi Climate Council brings together textiles and apparel experts to create a strategy for net zero emissions by 2025, en route to net positive emissions by 2030. The council tapped Levi’s chief sustainability officer Jeff Hogue, White Buffalo Land Trust founder and president Steve Finkel, consultant Amanda Cattermole and founder of Intentum Corporate Responsibility Consulting Cara Chacon for their expertise in circularity, regenerative agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions and offsets, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goal-setting.
Coyuchi CEO and president Eileen Mockus said that the brand’s “pursuit of sustainable innovation has never been achievable in a silo,” as it works closely with suppliers and partners in Germany, India, Portugal and Turkey, in addition to its U.S. operations. “The complexities of the textiles supply chain do not allow for us to work alone, and when we launched our first circular product in 2020, we recognized the true value of our network in the battle against climate change,” she said.
Mockus said the executives were selected for their “deep-rooted” knowledge of the issues influencing consumer goods. “I am confident they will push Coyuchi to be innovative and aggressive with achieving our goals,” she added.
The news comes as Coyuchi’s first annual impact report comes out this month with insights dating back to 2020 documenting performance in materials, farming, diversity and ethics. Coyuchi reached its goal of making products exclusively with natural fibers, with 99 percent of all cotton and linen certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). It prioritizes wool that is managed organically or cultivated by farmers with verified carbon farm plans through Fibershed. It uses 100-percent U.S.-sourced white Pekin duck down and feathers in products like bedding.
In 2020, Coyuchi also invested in farming practices on more than 6,000 Californian acres to support material cultivation. In India, it distributed fair trade premiums to more than 400 smallholder farmers owning less than five acres of land, which account for 86 percent of the country’s farming output.
Coyuchi is advancing its circularity journey by continuing to invest in its five-year-old Second Home takeback program allowing consumers to recycle used items. Shoppers use prepaid labels to mail in unwanted items that undergo a CO2 cleaning via Oregon’s Renewal Workshop before being listed for sale on coyuchi.com. Fabric that doesn’t pass muster supplies Coyuchi-branded recycled yarns. So far the company has taken back 43,854 pounds of fabric.
Coyuchi plans to form a climate action plan that identifies supply-chain hot spots, conducts a materiality assessment, and commissions a climate-risk analysis, and will work with the Organic Trade Association to put its framework into action.
The company has started the process with its California home base. Using 2019 insights from a greenhouse gas inventory study of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions at its headquarters and retail store in Point Reyes Station, Coyuchi created a strategy to reduce its operational footprint, and gas and electricity outputs. The Environmental Protection Agency’s calculator will help set future goals that put it on a path to achieve net-zero emissions at these facilities by 2025, taking on Scope 3 impact drivers like employee business travel and commuting.
“The pandemic has put everything we do into perspective, making our goals for a healthier future more important—and more urgent—than ever,” Mockus said, adding that “[t]ransparency is key to progress.”
Coyuchi plans to conduct annual analysis informing steps toward net-positive status by 2030.