How we do good.
When you purchase a Bear product, you help us create a future where people and planet thrive.
We give 10% from every sale to The Outward Bound Trust. If we sell a backpack for £165, we give them £16.50. Our giving isn't based on making a profit. If we don’t make a profit, we still give. It’s the reason we're in business.
"We are absolutely delighted that Bear are supporting The Outward Bound Trust. Now, more than ever before, young people need the opportunity to experience the outdoors, rebuild their confidence and re-engage with their education. We are two organisations that explicitly believe in the power of outdoor adventure, and we look forward to working together to help young people unlock their true potential." - The Outward Bound Trust.
You can learn more about The Outward Bound Trust here.
If you make something, you harm the planet. It doesn't matter how sustainable your materials are, or how far your products are transported. We try our best to mitigate this harm. We make products to last a lifetime, use sustainable materials as much as possible, and keep our product air miles down to a minimum (and will continue to keep reducing these impacts). But this just isn't enough for us. We know we can do more. So we invest in carbon offsetting - activities designed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (often referred to as carbon sequestration) or prevent their release.
How do we do it?
We set aside a further 2.5% (in addition to our 10% for The Outward Bound Trust) from each product for carbon offsetting projects.
Example: It takes about 11.2kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent aka our carbon footprint) to make our largest backpack. This costs about $0.09/£0.07 to offset. Every time you buy one of these backpacks, we set aside over £4 (£4.13 to be precise) for carbon offsetting. This means that when you buy one of our products, you are not just offsetting the CO2e from your bag. You are offsetting the CO2e from the production of 59 bags.
A bit more detail on offsetting.
Planting trees is often regarded as the most cost effective and low risk way to absorb carbon emissions. While most companies plant trees to offset their carbon, it is not the sole answer - there is no avoiding having to cut fossil fuel emissions. Financial incentives across the globe to offset carbon via tree planting runs the risk of creating a monoculture of plant species. We don’t need a monoculture, we need to increase species diversity to help improve ecosystem resilience and increase carbon sequestration.
It is not always clear to the consumer whether you’re planting a tree in an area where forest once existed ie. reforestation, or planting trees in areas where forests haven’t existed for many years ie. afforestation. The latter has proven to disrupt the water balance of regions, cause detrimental changes to soil pH and requires specialist forest planning techniques. This raises concerns about the efficacy and diligence of some tree planting schemes.
Here at Bear we value transparency and will always challenge the norm. We recognise there is no single solution to addressing climate change.
We plan to invest our resources in innovative and diverse carbon sequestration projects. We have only just started growing our offsetting fund, and will let you know where the money is headed this time next year. You can see the sort of direction we are headed, by reading our resident scientist Matts’ blog post on the topic.