The Bay Area fashion company worked with NGOs, nonprofits, third-party auditors and the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to understand its environmental impact and identify a workable mitigation plan in line with the Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Everlane has reduced by 10 percent the Scope 1-3 emissions stemming from owned or operated facilities and the electricity used to power them as well as production by suppliers, transportation of goods and employees, manufacturing waste, stores and more. It trimmed per-product emissions by 32 percent over to its 2019 baseline on the path to a 55 percent reduction by 2030.
Materials, responsible for about 60 percent of Everlane’s GHG impact, are getting a sustainable makeover as cotton cultivation, animal-derived fibers, and synthetic fibers augment the company’s footprint. Everlane worked with the Rodale Institute to convert 13,333 acres to support regenerative, organic farming and processes promoting land biodiversity and soil health.
So far, the company has converted 66 percent of its cotton to certified organic fibers and is shooting for 100 percent next year. Almost all (97 percent) apparel fibers containing polyester or nylon are made from Global Recycled Standard-certified (GRS) fibers as part of Everlane’s pledge to eliminate virgin plastics.
Everlane has recently explored recycled leathers, wools and cashmeres, and plans to expand its exploratory ReCashmere capsule into a full line this year. Since it debuted the project in 2019, it has been developing a fully recycled cashmere yarn as durable as virgin. September’s ReLeather sneaker debut tapped post-industrial leather factory scraps and recycled polyester, and the fully recyclable Forever sneaker (made from 50 percent recycled cotton) remains Everlane’s lowest impact shoe to date, generating just 7 kg in carbon emissions. Earlier this month it released a bio-based leather version of its top-selling Day Market tote, swapping out fossil fuels in favor of plant oil-based BioFabbrica.
The company is crowd-sourcing ideas to help it to eradicate virgin plastics—a goal that is now 90 percent complete. Everlane launched the Next Collective fellowship in 2021 and in January awarded $100,000 in grants to entrepreneurs with early-stage ideas about curbing plastic waste and mitigating climate change.
The first five winners each received $20,000 to advance their projects. LimeLoop, a smart shipping platform co-founded by Chantal Emmanuel, received a grant to continue exploring how a sensor can track and redeploy reusable packaging. Other recipients included Maya and Mica Caine, co-founders of Mive, a slow-fashion initiative creatively using plastic waste, Kristen Anderson and Bridget Mollner of Iteration, a sustainable intimates brand, Mira’s Grace St. George, who founded an eco-friendly footwear brand, and Alissa Baier-Lentz, co-founder of Kintra Fibers, a materials science company developing polymer-free alternatives to synthetic fibers.
Everlane signed onto the Transparency Pledge last fall in a commitment to disclosing information about suppliers and manufacturing sites on the third-party website. It’s now taking greater accountability for all parties contributing to its operations, with a focus on detailing worker wages and benchmarking environmental progress against countrywide standards.
Everlane said it already has full visibility into its Tier 1 manufacturing operations, and will continue to rely on third-party auditors to complete due diligence while pushing for social and environmental improvements and certifications. It committed to streamlining Tier 2 suppliers such as fabric mills, and will direct resources to fewer partners to fund initiatives benefitting the environment and workers. It will continue to map its Tier 3 supply chain, with the goal of gaining full visibility by next year. Everlane currently has very few direct relationships with Tier 4 suppliers, including farmers and others who cultivate raw material resources, and it said it aims to gain full visibility moving forward.