As the sustainability movement continues to permeate the home goods industry, more and more companies have laid out expansive goals to lessen their impact on the environment and move toward a more circular, sustainable business model. Companies like Pottery Barn and Sunbrella have released corporate sustainability plans recently, and Parachute is the latest to make a public commitment to sustainability.
The direct-to-consumer bedding and home goods brand outlined a number of short- and long-term goals, organized under four pillars: Climate + Earth, Responsible Materials, Ethical Manufacturing, and Diversity, Equity + Inclusion.
Among the most pressing of these goals, under the Climate + Earth pillar, Parachute aims to be certified carbon neutral by Earth Day on April 22, 2022.
“We want to make products that our customers feel good about purchasing, and that includes a commitment to becoming Climate Neutral Certified by Earth Day 2022,” said Ariel Kaye, Parachute CEO. “We will measure our emissions, offset 100 percent of our footprint with verified carbon credits, and implement reduction goals—including one science-aligned target, which limits our emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement.”
The company also plans to launch its first circular program with a recycled down pillow. Kaye said Parachute will work with existing vendors to sanitize down from returned pillows and insert it inside recycled cotton shells.
And as part of its Ethical Manufacturing pillar, Parachute will launch Fair Trade-Certified products this year, starting with rugs and expanding across other categories in the future. Kaye said the company will continue to work with existing vendors and produce product in Fair Trade-Certified facilities.
“Our responsibility to people and the planet is not just environmental, but social as well,” she said. “We have a responsibility to ensure we only work with ethical manufacturers that meet standards like providing safe working conditions, environmental protection, and sustainable livelihoods to their employees.
Parachute also plans to double down on responsible material certifications for products to further advance their commitment to a more sustainable supply chain. These include Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, to certify cotton materials are free of harmful chemicals, pesticides and residues; Oeko-Tex certification, to certify core products are free of high levels of 100-plus harmful substances; Responsible Down Standard (RDS), to certify down comes from humanely treated ducks and geese; and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), to certify wood is responsibly sourced.
In addition, Parachute will require the manufacturers of its GOTS certified products to meet criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These rules protect workers and ensure that every step of the supply chain uses ethical practices.
Parachute ran into controversy with the GOTS organization in early 2020 for running an ad claiming its products hold a certification that’s “more important than organic,” and that “Textiles with the organic label can still be treated with toxic chemicals at a later stage of production.”
At the time, GOTS responded to what it called a misleading claim by Parachute, saying, “While this is possible for uncertified products made from organic fibers, this is a misleading statement for textiles certified and labelled to the Global Organic Textile Standard. GOTS protects workers and environment at every stage of production and the GOTS approved ‘Positive List’ was developed to assure GOTS certified wet-processors only use chemical inputs with the lowest possible toxicity effects available.”
Kaye said Parachute has worked closely with GOTS since then to ensure certification by the organization for their products.
“Sustainability is an ongoing journey for our company, and we are always looking for ways to build upon our existing efforts,” she said. “As we look to deepen our commitments in 2022 and beyond, we’re pleased to be growing our partnerships with established organizations like GOTS and look forward to working collaboratively to bring our customers more exciting, responsibly-made products that they can feel good about purchasing.”
As the company works to implement these goals, Kaye said Parachute will continue to assess and expand expectations for sustainability and ethical production.
“Responsible materials and ethical manufacturing are also large components of our commitment to a more sustainable supply chain,” she said. “We’ll be working towards further GOTS, Oeko-Tex, Responsible Down Standard, and Fair Trade certifications for our products in 2022 and beyond.”