Houdini: A holistic formula in the Race to Zero (and beyond)

By Houdini | October 3, 2022

Sportswear company, Houdini’s vision since 2001 has been, maximum experience, zero impact and beyond. It is what we are working towards with uncompromising commitment and speed since 2001. We use the Planetary Boundaries framework to assess our planetary impact. Hence, we include not only Climate but all 9 boundaries in assessing our impact, including Biodiversity, Land Use and Novel entities. Carbon can sometimes be used as a proxy in our work, but carbon cannot be our only focus as it could have devastating systems consequences. 

We apply a holistic formula in the Race to Zero (and beyond), taking action across the 4 Climate Pillars of the 1.5°C Business Playbook, and working according to a simple but essential formulera to reach and move beyond zero: P x V + L = I. This translates to working with Pillar 1 through 4, and how we need to take a holistic approach to impact, not only including Product and how it is produced but also Volumes produced and Lifestyle promoted and enabled in order to reach zero and move beyond, towards regenerative.

“Houdini’s vision since 2001 has been, maximum experience, zero impact and beyond. It is what we are working towards with uncompromising commitment and speed since 2001. We apply a holistic formula in the Race to Zero (and beyond), taking action across the 4 Climate Pillars of the 1.5°C Business Playbook”, Eva Karlsson, CEO, Houdini Sportswear.

Reducing own emissions – Circular in-house operations

Houdini hubs and the Houdini office are all maintained through low-impact practices: Policies are in place to reach zero waste – including zero emissions – in all in-house operations such as offices and retail hubs. Houdini also has policies in place to encourage and enable its employees to live a sustainable lifestyle. For example, Houdini pays 2 extra holiday days a year for employees if they travel by train instead of flying for recreational purposes.

Reducing value chain emission – Circular ecosystem

Work on Pillar 1 and 2 has required partnerships for innovation and transformation throughout the Houdini ecosystem, including the entire value chain (tier 1 through 4). In order to go 100% circular at systems level, including everything from production to consumption, the work continues through intense stakeholder collaboration.

  • By 2030 we plan to reach a 100% circular ecosystem, including our production (tier 1 and 2) and consumption.
  • 100% circular production includes zero waste, i.e. zero carbon, zero microplastics, zero overproduction and zero clearance
  • 100% circular consumption includes a zero carbon lifestyle, i.e. extending product lifetime, increasing frequency of use of products and lifestyle solutions beyond products enabling and inspiring a regenerative lifestyle.

Integrating climate in business strategy – Circular product design and sourcing

Houdini is a trailblazer in the transition from linear to circular product design, including the use of recycled raw materials and mono material design. This allows for raw materials to remain a resource rather than become waste, maintain their value and be used in continuous loops.

  • 87% of Houdini products are circular and the ambition is to reach 100% in 2022.
  • 100% of our products are substantially modified towards circular and sustainable (through chemistry, energy consumption, water use)
  • By using recycled rather than virgin fibers in production we reduce our negative impact by at least 50%. By designing for continued circularity and next-life solutions we reduce our negative impact even further.
  • Our open-source policy enables scaling of circularity beyond Houdini, throughout the outdoor and apparel industry, reducing negative impact at industry-level and contributing to transformation in society.
  • A Houdini garment is used 100 times more than the western world average use of a garment, and 10 times more than the global average, according to user data.

Influencing climate action in society – Creating circular ripples 

We don’t aim to become the biggest brand, we simply want to be the best. Considering this, our responsibility is also to create ripples outside of our own sphere, inspiring peers in our industry and beyond as well as policy makers and individuals in order to create meaningful change.

  • Our open-source policy enables scaling circular beyond Houdini, throughout the outdoor and apparel industry, reducing negative impact at industry-level.
  • Sharing our work, philosophy, methodology and roadmap ahead with the business community through conferences, roundtable discussions, workshops is part of our mission.
  • Being part of the Race to Zero, and Exponential Roadmap Initiative and SME Climate Hub are examples of collaborative platforms we engage in to reach further faster together.
  • Through dialogue and co-creation with our customers and users we share knowledge, inspire and enable a zero-carbon lifestyle.

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