Colorado-based cycling apparel and footwear brand Pearl Izumi has launched Pedal to Zero™, an initiative to motivate and inspire people to choose cycling as an alternative mode of transportation. Each garment in the brand’s new BikeStyle spring 2022 collection will include a statistic showing the distance one must ride a bike instead of a car to offset the carbon impact of that garment.

Pearl Izumi uses the Higg Index to measure the environmental and social impact of its business. Using the new Higg Product Module, the brand can also determine the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the manufacturing of each garment. As a basis for the calculation, Pearl Izumi takes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) calculation that a typical passenger car produces 404 grams of CO2 per mile (1.6 km). This can be used to calculate how many miles a cyclist would have to ride to bring the carbon emissions of each garment to zero. The Rove Short, for example, produces the equivalent of 5.9 kilograms of CO2 during its manufacture and transport to the U.S. If you cycle 15 miles instead of driving, you have reduced the garment’s emissions to zero.

For comparison, the current average for an average car in Germany is 150 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Converted, this would be 250 grams per mile, well below the EPA’s calculation. According to EU regulations, new cars will only be allowed to emit an average of 95g/km from 2021 onwards, a value that can, however, be achieved through a complicated calculation across the entire vehicle fleets of each manufacturer, including electric cars.

Pedal to Zero™ is not currently advertised or offered on Pearl Izumi’s European website. It is part of the brand’s overall goal to be net positive by 2025. In 2018, Pearl Izumi announced an ambitious goal for sustainable products: 90 percent sustainable styles by 2022. Today, more than 40 percent of the product line is made from recycled, renewable and organic fibers, and the brand is on track to reach 90 percent.