Fashion Offset with myclimate

When buying clothes online, we are not aware of the big impact this has on our climate. However, fashion makes a sizeable contribution to climate change. It is important that the fashion industry acts to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions. We want customers to be able to make a choice and offset the emissions of their purchased products.

According to a research performed by McKinsey in 2018 the fashion sector is responsible for some 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions. This equals around 4% of the global total. (Read more here)
With the “Fashion Offset” app we offer merchants, who own a shopify online shop for fashion and clothes, to include an option for their customers to offset the CO₂ emissions of a product. With the app their customers will be able to see the CO₂ footprint of a fashion item and then get the option to offset it into high quality projects by myclimate. What differentiates “Fashion Offset” from other apps is that it lets the customer offset the actual carbon footprint of each fashion item instead of adding a random donation.

 

Download the app

CO2 Offsetting Fundamentals

What does CO2 offsetting mean?

CO2 offsetting, CO2 compensation, or carbon offsetting is a way to fight human-caused climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that gets into the atmosphere. In practice it is not about literally catching CO2 already emitted, but rather preventing new emissions by supporting renewable energy, deforestation etc.

How does voluntary CO2 offsetting work?

When offsetting a kilogram of CO2 through myclimate we guarantee that at least 80% of offsetting payments will be used directly in a selected emission reduction project with a matching kilogram amount. Maximum 20% are allocated to the management of the carbon offset projects and the required administrative work.

If I can offset my carbon footprint with money, can I continue consuming?

We strongly encourage you to avoid and reduce what you can – and only offset what you can't. Our motto is “Do your best and offset the rest”.

Can I trust myclimate really creates CO2 reductions?

myclimate is a Swiss non-profit organization and belongs to the global leaders in quality carbon offsetting measures. We offset carbon emissions through more than 130 carbon offset projects in 37 countries and raise awareness of the topic of climate protection. myclimate invests exclusively in projects that deliver measurable long-term success. Only emission reductions that have actually been realised and can be proven over a longer contract term of 7 to 14 years are counted in.
  
We pool all single compensations from our customers and direct them to carbon offset projects. The projects reduce emissions through replacement of fossil energy sources by renewable ones, realization of local reforestation with peasants and implementation of energy efficient technologies. myclimate’s climate protection projects adhere to the highest standards (Gold Standard, CDM, Plan Vivo). In addition to the reduction of carbon emissions, they are proven to facilitate a positive local impact for sustainable development. Read more here

Does myclimate make profit?

As a non-profit organisation myclimate uses all funds for the goal of protecting the climate. We commit to invest at least 80% of the funds directly to the projects, and our small share enables us to run our organization. Maximum 20% are allocated to the management of the carbon offset projects and the required administrative work.

Fashion Offsetting

What’s behind it?

The idea behind the “Fashion Offset with myclimate” app is to facilitate product carbon footprinting for merchants and to help web shoppers to offset the carbon footprint of a commodity in their shopping cart at the moment of purchase. 
 
Offsetting a particular purchase or action is not a new idea; airlines have done it for some time already, since flying around creates huge amounts of emissions. And so does the textile industry. 
 
With “Fashion Offset with myclimate” we aim to make it possible to assess the carbon footprint and offset any textile product at the checkout of your online shop. The CO2-emissions of a T-shirt may be a thousand times smaller than a long flight – but people buy clothes more often than they fly.
 
We offer web shop merchants a tool that automatically creates a matching CO2 compensation for any product. 

Why fashion?

1. Significance: Even though the carbon footprint of a single piece of apparel is relatively small, the number of purchases is not – there are around 10 billion fashion webshop checkouts a year. All together the fashion industry is responsible for more CO2 emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined (Source: Worldbank). Compensating even a small fraction of online order will make a big impact for the fight against climate change.
 
2. Accuracy: Producing fashion and apparel has a carbon footprint that consists of various sources, like cultivation, harvesting, chemical processes, dyeing, cutting, logistics and so on. Producing 1 kg of fabric typically produces 10–100 kg of CO2 (Source: myclimate). In the context of fashion, it is possible to accurately detect both the item type and material, which then allows calculating the true carbon footprint of a product.

Science

How do you know the carbon footprint of a random product?

Without going into details, the basic calculation principle is this:
 
The algorithm analyses the product descriptions of each item in your store and based on that defines what kind of item the product is (for example a pair of jeans) and what its main material is (for example recycled cotton). After that, the algorithm uses the emission factors defined by our experts to calculate an accurate carbon footprint of the product.

How do you define the emission factors?

The algorithm has been verified by myclimate’s highly qualified environmental scientists. The emission factors that are used in the algorithm are based on life cycle inventory databases, literature values, and myclimate’s expertise in the analysis and offsetting of greenhouse gases over the past 20 years. 
Emission factors are calculated based on the “cradle-to-gate” approach, which means that all the raw materials, the required transport activities, the manufacturing processes, as well as the packaging materials are accounted for. The use-phase as well as the end-of-life phase (reuse, recycling, incineration, landfilling) have not been considered, as the idea is to offer carbon offset for fashion products up to the point of sale. Furthermore, the use-phase and also partly the end-of-life phase rest within the responsibility of the customer/user, and much less within the responsibility of the vender.

About the App for Merchants

How does the app work in practice?

After installing the “Fashion Offset with myclimate” app, our AI goes through your product inventory to calculate the carbon footprint of each of your products. As a result, we add a selection of carbon offsetting products to your product list. You will get a notification to your email, when matching is done, and you can then activate the app for your customers.

After publishing the app, your customers can offset the carbon footprint of their order by ticking a checkbox at checkout. Before deciding, they can see the total amount as well as a detailed
breakdown, showing the carbon footprint of each of their products separately. 

The corresponding amount for offsetting the carbon footprint of a product is then added to their order, as well as a payment transaction fee. You will receive the additional payment for the offsetting and the transaction fee will be directly directed to your e-commerce platform provider. We will only charge you for the offsetting amount as part of your subscription.   

You can follow the compensations real-time from your dashboard, showing both the CO2 tons compensated and the monetary value of the compensations, as well as the compensation percentage – reflecting how many of your customers have decided to take climate action.

You may also review the carbon footprint calculations made by “Fashion offset with myclimate” AI and make corrections if needed. You may also temporarily deactivate the app from your dashboard.
 

What kind of webshop platforms are supported?

Right now, we offer the application to the Shopify platform, and it can be found on the Shopify App Store. We plan to expand to other leading platforms. In case you are interested in a custom solution, please contact sales@myclimate.org 

What kind of webshops can use the app? 

There are several requirements:
 
Your store language should be one of the following: English, German. 
Otherwise, our algorithm will not detect the materials for calculating the carbon footprint of your products. 

Your area of industry should be fashion, clothes, outdoor or similar. Our algorithm can currently detect these products and materials and define their carbon footprint. You can technically install our app to a webshop selling anything, like consumer electronics, but it will not find matches from your inventory.
 

Does it cost me to use your app? 

No, it does not. We only charge you the same amount that your customers have directly paid for offsetting the carbon footprint of their purchase including a small additional purchasing fee.

How do you use the money?

We pool all the single offsets from our customers and direct them to high-quality carbon offset projects. The projects reduce emissions through replacement of fossil energy sources by renewable ones, realisation of local reforestation with peasants and implementation of energy efficient technologies. myclimate’s climate protection projects adhere to the highest standards (Gold Standard, CDM, Plan Vivo). In addition to the reduction of carbon emissions, they are proven to facilitate a positive local impact for sustainable development. Read more here
 
As a non-profit organisation we commit to invest at least 80% of the funds directly to the projects, and our small share enables us to establish carbon offset projects and take care of the administrative work.

Stay informed!