AVOCADO GREEN BRANDS
2021 Impact Report
Our Sustainability Journey
Five years since its founding, Avocado continues to raise the bar for environmental and social responsibility through its four brands: Avocado Green, Hass, Reed + Gwen, and Brentwood Home.
In 2016, a few friends with $40,000 in savings started Avocado Green Mattress. From the beginning, they just wanted a new kind of mattress. One that was greener — better for people and the planet — affordable, and comfortable. It was a simple idea rooted in a much bigger vision. Five years later, Avocado has nearly 800 employees and continues to expand into new industries — from bedding to furniture to bath and, most recently, beauty and clothing.
That growth begets big questions.
How does a business scale sustainably?
What is the right balance between purpose and profit?
How do we continue to raise the bar for sustainability?
These are the questions Avocado obsesses over.
We know the answers to those questions are urgent. The status quo isn’t sustainable; we see the climate crisis as a constant threat to global and economic stability. And we have a vision to do things differently — the fearlessness to be a leader for value-driven enterprises, and to advocate for even bigger, systemic changes outside our control.
We also recognize the work will never be done. We will always seek to do better. What was exceptional in 2020 becomes standard in 2021. This is a sign of progress. For example, we were the first brand to go net-zero with Climate Neutral Certified in 2018. Now, 305 companies boast the net-zero certification. But the collective gains we’ve made are only a start. When it comes to sustainability, we can always do more.
So where, exactly, do we go from here? What will have the most impact for people and the planet? We approach these fundamental questions — our work — with the same singular purpose on which those friends founded the company: to be one of the most sustainable companies on Earth. This annual report documents our journey.
Amount of our carbon emissions we offset
Amount of clean energy use
Legislative bills supported
Speaking events advocating for sustainability policies
Of returned mattresses donated to shelters
Of returned pillows donated to shelters
We Are the Change
Fighting the climate crisis requires systemic changes. We’re using our voice and our investments to push for a better future for people and the planet.
Evidence supporting human-caused climate change goes back more than 100 years, and scientists have established a consensus on the issue since 1988. In case that wasn’t enough, it seems Mother Nature herself wallops us over the head with a stronger dose of climate-change fueled disaster and an ever clearer message each year: We need to stop burning fossil fuels.
This year, a “heat dome” that engulfed the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia with record-high temperatures in July killed approximately one billion marine animals. Hurricane Ida caused $95 billion in damages. The Texas Ice Storm in February demonstrated the vulnerability of our energy grid in the face of extreme weather. The ongoing megadrought in the Southwest, which has had crippling freshwater impacts throughout the region, caused one current U.S. Senator to proclaim these climate change challenges as “our biggest, long-term national security issue.” In related news, in California, about 7,400 wildfires burned more than 2.5 million acres, destroying 3,500 structures.
Just 100 corporations are responsible for 71% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s essential that businesses help drive solutions to the climate crisis. Avocado became a certified net-zero business three years ago. And we use 100% clean energy to power our facilities. But we’re not stopping there. We know that solving the climate crisis and other causes essential to our work will require systemic changes. That’s why we lobby lawmakers and advocate for legislation that will help protect people and the planet while also using our voice and our platform to empower others to be a part of this journey.
FIRST THINGS FIRST — REDUCING OUR EMISSIONS: OUR REDUCTION ACTION PLAN
In 2018, Avocado became the first mattress company to go net-zero and become Climate Neutral Certified, effectively making our business carbon neutral. A year later, we took it a step further by going carbon negative — offsetting more carbon emissions than the company generates. Our first step? Working with Climate Neutral to limit our emissions with our annual Reduction Action Plan.
THESE WERE OUR TARGETS FOR 2021
We’ve made progress on each of these goals, including significant strides toward Zero Waste Certification. We’ve also reduced our return rate but still have room for improvement by being more proactive with our return prevention in the first place. As far as reducing manufacturing emissions, we’ve entered into direct access lotteries to source energy from Energy Service Providers, which will allow us to have more transparency around where our energy is coming from.
Supporting Clean Energy
We also reduce emissions by limiting our energy use as much as possible. For example, instead of shipping returned mattresses around the country, we prioritize donations to local shelters and those in need. We also use recycled steel coils and GOTS certified organic (CU863637) natural latex instead of synthetic foams, which are produced with fossil fuels. Our other certified organic materials, like cotton, wool, and linen, also use less energy and water than their non-organic counterparts. For the energy we do consume, we match 100% of it with purchases of renewable energy certificates from wind farms. This drives clean energy to the grid and supports the growth of sustainable fuel sources. We work with Arcadia Power to channel our monthly energy usage and pay a premium in order to support local wind energy.
Paying Our Voluntary Carbon Tax
We work with Climate Neutral to verify our carbon emissions, including all of our scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. That’s the full carbon footprint that our business activity generates, from resource extraction to finished product delivery. Our offset projects help mitigate climate change and support innovation in addressing greenhouse gas emissions reductions. For 2021, we funded verified projects with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation through the purchase of 53,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent that supported renewable energy, landfill waste to energy projects, and forest sequestration. That’s the CO2 equivalent of taking 11,679 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.
CALLING OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS
For Avocado, addressing the causes we care most deeply about, including the climate crisis and environmental racism, requires systemic changes. We can’t decarbonize our entire supply chain on our own — for example, we rely on fossil-fuel-burning freight carriers to receive our materials — and we have no control over their emissions. That’s why advocating for legislative overhauls, in addition to our net-zero achievement with Climate Neutral and our commitment to safe, non-toxic, organic products, is at the core of our mission.
As members of Ceres and the American Sustainable Business Council, we’ve signed on to 36 letters in the past year urging legislators to support various bills, from robust climate change policies to protecting voting access, decarbonizing the West, justice in policing, filibuster reform, and investments in clean energy.
We also speak with state and federal legislators to support policies that align with Avocado’s vision for a fair and sustainable planet for all. In 2021, we spoke at 26 external events.
“Corporate commitments and corporate advocacy must go hand in hand as we work to build a more resilient and equitable net-zero future. Businesses like Avocado are powerful voices on Capitol Hill and in statehouses across the country."
- Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres
“We need businesses of all sizes and across sectors to speak out in support of ambitious climate policy action that will keep the U.S. competitive and protect the health and well-being of communities across the country,” says Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres.
But we don’t just do this work because it’s the right thing to do. Increasing severity and frequency of natural disasters — for example, the recent wide-scale power outage in Texas — affects supply chains, revenue, and jobs.
“Good climate policy is good business policy,” says Avocado Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder Mark Abrials. “The time is now to establish clean energy standards that will help stabilize our supply chains and create a more resilient economy and healthier planet for all.”
We aren’t afraid to talk about the climate crisis. In fact, we know doing so is vital. If we don’t stay educated about the problem, how are we going to act on it? We dedicate our lifestyle magazine to exploring the intersection of our lives and the planet through original, thoughtful, and accessible storytelling. Our mission is to be a resource on socially and environmentally responsible action while providing an inclusive, inspiring space centered on the idea that health, well-being, and a clean planet is a reality we all deserve.
We also regularly discuss the climate crisis and other pressing issues at the core of our mission on our social channels and in our newsletter. And, in 2021, we produced a podcast dedicated to the topic, too. It’s called “A Little Green.” It’s an 8-part series that follows Avocado’s Executive Producer Christina Thompson as she explores her impact on the environment while demystifying the “obvious” questions many of us find ourselves asking these days, and showing us each how we can challenge the status quo and become climate leaders in our own communities.
Our B Corp Impact Assessment Score
Amount of annual revenue donated to environmental nonprofits
For The People
From prioritizing an equitable company culture, a nationwide mattress donation program, and a diverse workforce, to investing in economic and climate resilience in rural communities, we’re driving tangible, on-the-ground change for people and the planet.
20 million. That’s the estimated number of people who were forced to leave their homes every year over the past decade as a result of climate-related disasters. And studies show minority communities and poorer countries are disproportionately impacted. Ecosystems are being devastated, too. Add to that the financial and health constraints placed on individuals and families as a result of Covid-19 — 114 million people lost their jobs in 2020 due to the pandemic — and one thing is clear: We need more businesses and organizations helping communities build economic and climate resilience, advocating for income equality and workers’ rights, and using their platforms for social and environmental good. That’s why our work as a Certified B Corporation and a 1% for the Planet member is so important — those organizations help ensure we’re supporting our own teammates, communities, and environments, as well as those around the globe.
Balancing Purpose and Profit as a Certified B Corporation
Avocado became a Certified B Corporation in May 2020, with a score of 126.2 — putting us well ahead of the 80-point minimum threshold and the highest score of any mattress and bedding company.
"Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Collectively, the B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose," says Andy Fyfe, B Lab’s U.S. & Canada Director.
“While the median score for ordinary business is 51 points on the B Impact Assessment, Avocado Mattress has achieved a score of 126 points. Only 7% of the global B Corp community have a score this exceptional. Avocado Mattress is a leader in using business as a force for good.”
- Andy Fyfe, B Lab’s U.S. & Canada Director
Certified B Corps are the gold standard for responsible businesses. They represent a community of leaders igniting a global cultural shift in the way companies operate, recognizing that a sustainable and inclusive economy means balancing profit with purpose. Certified B Corporations legally commit to considering the impacts of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. More than 800 B Corps are on the path to net-zero emissions by 2030 (Avocado is already net-zero), and B Lab, the nonprofit that operates B Corp, has raised more than $34 million in philanthropic capital since its inception in 2006.
Our Certified B Corporation status verifies we meet the highest standards for social and environmental responsibility. In fact, B Corp only certifies one in three companies that apply. As part of the rigorous, 183-question certification process, we’re required to provide a detailed, transparent look into every level of our company, including corporate practices, supply chain operations, and material impacts, working conditions, employee benefits, and philanthropy efforts.
Our high score is the result of high impacts in the Community, Environment, and Workers categories. Certified B Corporations are required to recertify every three years. In 2023, we’ll apply at the parent company level, ensuring Avocado Green Brands and the subsidiaries under our name — Brentwood Home, Reed + Gwen, and Hass — all meet the ideals of Certified B Corporations.
DONATING 1% OF ALL REVENUE THROUGH 1% FOR THE PLANET
Since its founding, Avocado Green Brands has been a 1% For the Planet member. Only 3% of philanthropic giving goes toward environmental initiatives. 1% for the Planet’s mission is to change that. Its diverse network, made up of 5,840 global businesses, individuals, and nonprofits across 91 countries, use their collective action to help address some of the most pressing issues of our time by advising on giving strategies, certifying donations, and amplifying the impact of member organizations. To ensure the collective action of its members is driving true, on-the-ground change, they focus their efforts on six core issue areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water, and wildlife. Its nonprofit partners tackle everything from natural resource conservation and environmental justice to air quality solutions, recycling, and ocean cleanup.
Members commit to donating 1% of annual revenues to environmental nonprofits verified by 1% for the Planet. By certifying reputable giving and providing accountability for its members, the organization is able to prevent greenwashing. To date, members have invested more than $250 million in environmental nonprofit solutions through the 1% for the Planet network.
"1% for the Planet Business Members like Avocado support nonprofits on the front lines all over the world, tackling the urgent issues facing our planet," says Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet.
“Avocado drives real, positive change by committing 1% of annual sales, forging powerful partnerships and amplifying those stories. We’re grateful for Avocado’s leadership in growing the dynamic momentum that will propel our movement forward with an even greater collective impact.”
- Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet
INVESTING IN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS
As a member of 1% for the Planet, Avocado Green Brands has donated millions of dollars to more than 30 environmental organizations. For us, investing in partners that align with our mission to create a better planet and a healthier future for all is essential. So is maximizing our impact. That’s why, since becoming a member, we’ve evolved our giving strategy. When we initially joined 1% for the Planet, we chose a different giving partner each month. We are honored to have been able to support organizations like the Alaska Wilderness League, Friends of Trees, Post-Landfill Action Network, and other groups creating positive change. But we wanted to make a more concentrated impact. So in 2020, we connected with a different nonprofit every quarter, and in 2021, we divided our giving among two organizations — Leave No Trace and Trees, Water, & People. By supporting one partner each half of the year, we’re able to zero in on our efforts, using our dollars to fund long-term projects and initiatives.
In 2021, we were proud to support Leave No Trace. LNT was founded on the idea that ethical standards should be tied to outdoor activities. The nonprofit teaches individuals and communities the importance of getting outside and enjoying nature while empowering them to preserve our trails, parks, and open spaces. As a result of our partnership, Avocado was able to directly help LNT reach nearly 8 million individuals across 31 states, provide critical program training for 39,000 people, and conduct 10 unique, site-specific initiatives in locations from Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, to Panthertown Valley in North Carolina and Horseshoe Bend, in Page, Arizona, aimed at a healthy and sustainable recovery through their Hot Spots Program.
“I love how Avocado is constantly innovating, and it brings me so much joy to be able to work with a company who is so engaged in protecting the places we play.”
- Dana Watts, Executive Director at Leave No Trace
“Through our partnership, we have been able to reach a broader audience with Leave No Trace knowledge,” says Dana Watts, executive director at Leave No Trace.
In the second half of the year, we gave 1% of revenues to Trees, Water, & People. After two Category 4 hurricanes hit Honduras in November 2020, countless community members lost their homes, land, and businesses. The nonprofit delivered emergency relief to more than 1,000 local families in need. We’re honored to have sponsored TWP’s Planet Change initiative aimed at helping support women cacao and spice farmers throughout the country who were affected by these devastating natural disasters. Our partnership also aided TWP in planting 30,000 trees to support restoration projects on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and with Cochiti, Santo Domingo, and Jemez Pueblos in New Mexico.
“Avocado Green Brands is the type of ally our sector needs. They've channeled meaningful resources to our watershed restoration work with North American Tribes and to our agroforestry and clean cooking work in Central America,” says Sebastian Africao, executive director of TWP. “The communities experiencing climate change up close are those best positioned to usher in solutions, and we thank Avocado Green Brands for trusting in Trees, Water, & People's locally-driven approach, that puts these communities' priorities first.”
“Companies like Avocado Green Brands that recognize the importance of supporting grassroots, Indigenous-led programs are helping to change how corporate philanthropy achieves social impact.”
- Sebastian Africao, Executive Director of Trees, Water & People
We also partnered with The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to work with schools, families, and small-scale farmers in low-income areas of El Salvador. On National Avocado Day (July 31), we supported the planting of three avocado trees — a sustainable source of food and income — for every mattress sold. As a direct result of this partnership, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation was able to plant 2,700 avocado trees.
From the materials we use to our manufacturing processes, we’ve made it a priority to invest in the environment. For us, that also means dedicating our time to preserving the outdoor areas in our own backyards and local communities. Avocado proudly provides employees with quarterly paid volunteer days so they can get together to do exactly that.
In 2020, employees across Avocado Green Brands collectively logged 120 volunteer hours. In 2021, our employees ramped up their efforts, completing 505 volunteer hours, a 320% increase from the previous year’s impact. And for Earth Month, we mobilized a company-wide, month-long cleanup, picking up a total of 7,959 pieces of trash — from Los Angeles to Atlanta, to Hoboken and Pittsburgh.
HOW AVOCADO'S MATTRESS RETURN PROGRAM HELPS THOSE IN NEED
Everyone deserves a mattress — and a good night’s rest. So our sustainability team developed a nationwide network of more than 1,000 nonprofit partners, including local women’s shelters, rehabilitation centers, refugee centers, and centers for those with disabilities. We often work with Family Promise, an organization dedicated to ending family homelessness. “For so many families, housing instability and homelessness robs them of so much, including sleep. Family Promise is thrilled to work with Avocado,” says Family Promise CEO Claas Ehlers.
“Every day starts with a good night’s sleep. And, really, every future starts with a good night’s sleep. Avocado has given the gift of a good night’s sleep to parents and children who have overcome homelessness. They’ve given these families the start to a brand new future.”
- Claas Ehlers, Family Promise CEO
Over the past year, we’ve donated more than 90% of our mattress returns and 100% of our pillow and mattress topper and protector returns. The impact is two-fold. Those in need receive valuable resources, and we have effectively diverted thousands of metric tons of goods from landfills — drastically reducing the waste, energy, and carbon emissions it would require to return these products to our factory.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this service,” said one recipient of a donated Avocado mattress. “We work so hard to help people regain housing, but when they move in they often do so with just a sleeping bag and a backpack. It takes a lot of labor and resources to help a house feel like a home, and your donation of a mattress — an amazing one at that — helps us immensely.”
Through our partner Vet Strong, a San Antonio-based nonprofit that helps veterans, domestic violence victims, and other groups in need, we were also able to donate mattresses to some of the more than 500 Afghan refugee families they helped get settled in the U.S. We are proud to have played a part in supporting their incredible work by providing these families with access to a good night’s sleep.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continued to exacerbate homelessness and access to secure housing, particularly for low-income and minority groups. Avocado was also able to support My Sistah’s House — a Tennessee-based nonprofit that advocates for the Black transgender community by providing housing, hot meals, and other life-changing resources — by donating our GOTS organic certified pillows for the 20 tiny homes they are building for local trans individuals.
How We Measure Up
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Here’s how we scored.
Environmental, economic, and social justice are inextricably linked. We can’t tackle urgent climate change initiatives without also addressing poverty, access to healthcare, racial inequalities, economic growth for low-income communities, and preservation of our natural resources. The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals represent a global call-to-action for stakeholders in developed and developing countries to take responsibility for driving change toward a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future for all. We used the SDG Action Manager, developed by B-Lab, to bring together the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact as it relates to business. Here’s how Avocado’s corporate policies and business operations scored.
1. No Poverty
Focuses on socially responsible business practices, including paying a living wage, offering employee benefits, engaging in climate activism, investing in local communities, supporting positive regulatory reforms, providing resources for supply chain workers, and promoting economic development in underdeveloped communities.
2. Zero Hunger
Assesses how and if companies engage in sustainable agriculture practices, food waste programs, and contribute at the industry, regulatory, and societal level. This includes investment in communities, collaboration across industries, and advocating for progressive legislation.
3. Good Health and Well-Being
Gauges how a business supports the health and well-being of its employees, suppliers, and communities through practices like healthcare coverage, operational health and safety programs, and wellness initiatives.
4. Gender Equality
Focuses on healthcare for women, workforce development that targets underemployed social groups, as well as female representation in management, gender discrimination management, gender-focused marketing, and gender equality among suppliers.
5. Affordable and Clean Energy
Determines if a product or service improves the reliability of energy supply and assesses a company’s share of renewable energy sources, its energy footprint, and use of environmentally efficient equipment.
6. Decent Work and Economic Growth
Measures how a business supports suppliers in low-income markets to improve livelihoods for underserved communities. Gauges internal business practices, including paying a living wage and providing labor rights training and opportunities for professional development.
7. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Weighs a company’s commitment to innovative manufacturing, wholesale or agriculture processes designed to significantly reduce environmental impact compared to typical practices for the industry. This SDG also accounts for the adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes and investment in research and development aligned with sustainable development priorities.
8. Reduced Inequalities
Focuses on a business’s support for underserved groups, entrepreneurship opportunities for underserved individuals, employee benefits, and commitment to equitable support for suppliers.
9. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Addresses if a company’s business model offers green lending products that focus on sustainable and resilient public infrastructure as well as internal practices like adopting green building standards, promoting inclusive urbanization, and conducting climate risk and opportunity assessments.
10. Responsible Consumption and Production
Determines whether a company provides a product or service that reduces input materials compared to market alternatives. This goal also gauges internal practices such as adopting circular economy principles, environmental footprint, and impact reporting, and assesses waste and chemical management of suppliers.
11. Climate Action
Measures a business’s commitment to providing financing services focused on climate mitigation and adaptation activities in developing countries and emerging markets, along with the implementation of practices like climate risk assessments, adopting climate change governance, tracking operational greenhouse gas emissions, and setting science-based targets.
12. Life on Land
Focuses on a company’s sustainable harvesting and land-use practices, use of natural materials, biodiversity conservation efforts, prevention of illegal trade of wildlife, and practices that prevent deforestation as well as support for responsible environmental management by suppliers.
Upcycling and Biodegradability
HOW WE'RE LIMITING WASTE
By reusing, upcycling, and recycling our materials, we’re keeping waste out of landfills and reducing our impact on the environment.
In 2020, we became the first bedding company to have its Landfill Waste Diversion rated Validated by UL. And in 2021, we developed more products made with upcycled materials — like our dog bed frames that use wood scraps from our factories and our pillows and Brentwood Home kids bean bags that are made with upcycled latex and foam — to further limit our waste. In total, 25 of our products now harness upcycled materials. With our recycling partners, we also take wood scraps from our woodshop and turn them into mulch and office furniture.
By being intentional about our materials and manufacturing, we expanded our production facility footprint from two to five while still increasing the amount of waste we diverted from landfills by 5%, achieving an overall waste diversion rate of 69%. Our goal is at least an 80% diversion rate.
In 2022, we’ll replace the plastic used in our mattress packaging with paper. This will save 96 square feet and 1 pound of plastic for every mattress we sell (estimates based on a queen mattress) and reduces plastic waste by 50%. We also recycle wood, foam, cardboard, and LDPE plastic.
Our zero-waste approach has an enormous impact. More than 50,000 mattresses end up in landfills each day. Many of these are made with petrochemicals that pose an environmental hazard when they are ultimately incinerated or introduced into the waste stream. But we believe in a circular economy that accounts for the lifecycle of our products. That’s why our mattresses are made with organic, natural, biodegradable materials like latex, wool, and cotton that can be recycled and reused or allowed to biodegrade, thereby returning them to nature with less impact on landfills than polyurethane mattresses. Our products also harness innovative materials created from waste and scraps. Brentwood Home mattresses use denim scraps and recycled plastic bottles, keeping those materials out of landfills while limiting the carbon emissions associated with developing virgin materials.
We also use sustainably harvested and reclaimed timber for our wood furniture and bed frames. These dense-grain, old-growth woods are harder and more durable than softer new woods. And by using responsibly sourced, reclaimed wood, we ensure no trees are harmed in the manufacturing of our furniture while helping to protect our natural resources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainability.
Avocado is always seeking innovative ways to be more sustainable — while never compromising the luxury feel of our products. From materials to manufacturing and shipping, we understand that every small decision contributes to our larger impact. Implementing sustainable, zero-waste practices is essential if we want to make meaningful strides in the fight against climate change. In 2022, Avocado’s goal is to achieve its Zero Waste to Landfill certification by recycling more than 80% of its waste.
Certified, Trusted, True
GOTS, GOLS, GREENGUARD Gold, MADE SAFE — and now, FSC®, RWS, OCS, and GRS. We’re proud our factories, supply chains, and products meet these benchmarks of excellence.
Companies know that “being green” is good for business. In fact, about two-thirds (67%) of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products. The result is the ubiquity of greenwashing — the claim that a company is “green” or “sustainable” when the reality proves they are anything but. Educated customers know to do their homework.
At Avocado, we let our third-party certifications do the talking. No other company is as committed as we are to independently verifying our positive impact. The Global Organic Latex Standard, the Global Organic Textile Standard, Made Safe, Fair Trade, Forest Stewardship Council, Greenguard Gold, B Corp, Climate Neutral — these are the most rigorous, independent certifications available to verify social and environmental responsibility through every step of our company. For example, GOLS ensures that products contain more than 95% of certified organic raw material. Our own GOTS certified factory in Los Angeles, meanwhile, validates that our valued team receives fair wages, comprehensive benefits, and safe working conditions. GOTS also prohibits the use of the kinds of toxic chemicals commonly used in textile processing that can cause cancer, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. Greenguard Gold certifications mean our products are scientifically tested for prolonged exposure in environmental chambers to meet rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and phthalates. And Made Safe determines that all the materials we use are free from ingredients linked to or suspected to cause harm to humans, animals, or ecosystems. Lastly, 1% For the Planet ensures that our donations — we give away 1% of our revenue through the program — go to vetted nonprofits.
We back up every claim. In fact, soon we’ll be rolling out a blockchain that will verify exactly where our materials come from. Eventually, when a customer receives an Avocado product, they’ll be able to scan a QR code that will tell them the journey of each material and the background of every source in our supply chain. This will add transparency and trust — and ensure that every step of Avocado manufacturing meets the highest standards for social and environmental responsibility.
OUR NEW CERTIFICATIONS
Our products continue to raise the bar for verified social and environmental responsibility.
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL® (C156138)
In 2021, we were proud to become FSC® certified. This certification (founded by Rainforest Alliance) confirms the forests we use are managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers while ensuring it sustains economic viability. Our mattress factory and woodshop in Los Angeles are FSC®-certified facilities, and the latex and wood we use are FSC®-certified resources — which is verified by transactions across our supply chain. We’re also Rainforest Alliance certified, which verifies our farmers engage in best practices for forest and land management, are provided safe, healthy working conditions and a living wage, and sustainable livelihood opportunities.
Responsible Wool Standard
Avocado is also the only mattress company that uses wool certified by the RWS. The health, safety, and ethical treatment of our sheep matters. And this strict certification ensures our farmers maintain best practices and look out for animal welfare — from responsible land use and sustainable grazing to handling, sheering, and medical care.
Organic Content Standard (CU863637)
The Organic Content Standard verifies that 95-100% of the raw materials we use are organic — per USDA standard — which means they’re grown without pesticides or harmful chemicals. That’s safer for you, our workers, and the planet.
Global Recycling Standard
Our Global Recycling Standard certification verifies that 95-100% of our material content is recyclable. This is in line with our overall sustainability mission and part of our work to become Zero Waste certified. GRS ensures responsible production at every step of our supply chain, requiring that our recyclable materials meet their standards for social and environmental responsibility and are free of harsh or toxic substances.
OUR EXISTING CERTIFICATIONS
Of course, we still maintain the core certifications that solidified us as one of the most environmentally conscious, ethical, safe, and sustainable companies in the first place.
Certified B Corporation
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
Avocado has been Climate Neutral certified since 2019. The organization is an independent nonprofit working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world by putting a price on carbon emissions. With Climate Neutral, the entirety of our carbon footprint is measured and verified, from raw material production and shipping to manufacturing and delivery. We reduce where we can and purchase offsets for the balance. Avocado is the world's first mattress brand to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. In 2020, Avocado went carbon negative, offsetting more carbon than it generates — the new bar for all sustainable brands.
Global Organic Latex Standard
The Global Organic Latex Standard ensures products contain more than 95% certified organic raw material based on total weight. The standard also features permissible limits for harmful substances, emissions test requirements, and polymer and filler percentages. Our latex is GOLS-certified organic (CU863637) by Control Union under our brand name and processed in a GOLS-certified factory we own in India. Our factory in Los Angeles is also a GOLS-certified facility.
Global Organic Textile Standard
Free from harmful chemicals, our organic cotton and organic wool are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (CU863637). These renewable and sustainable resources are independently verified and always ethically and responsibly sourced. They're better for you as well as the people that grow it. We're proud to use GOTS organic certified materials, operate our own GOTS certified factory in Los Angeles, and sell certified finished products under our brand name.
MADE SAFE® is a rigorous scientific screening process that only allows the use of ingredients that are not known or suspected to harm human health, animals, aquatic life, or ecosystems. Our Avocado mattresses, organic mattress pad protectors, toppers, and pillows are certified under our brand name.
Avocado mattresses and bedding products are GREENGUARD Gold Certified by UL Environment under our brand name. That means they’re scientifically tested to meet some of the world’s most rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and phthalates. Few mattresses and pillows qualify for this gold standard.
Formaldehyde-Free Claim Validation by UL Environment
Formaldehyde, which is used to make one of the adhesives that hold mattresses together, is a VOC (an off-gassing chemical that can linger for months) that has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. The EPA considers it a probable human carcinogen. It does not belong in any mattress. For assurance, the entirety of our Avocado Green Mattress has been lab-tested in environmental chambers and certified by UL Environment to be free from Formaldehyde.
Our organic certified latex, wool, and cotton have received STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®: Class 1 certifications (19.0.79546, 19.HIN.68466 & 15.HIN.75800, Hohenstein HTTI). These are strict standards for human and ecological safety. That means they've been tested in a lab to be safe from allergenic dyes, pesticides, chlorinated phenols, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and chloro-organic carriers that could be harmful to humans.
Expanding Our Impact
With Hass and Reed + Gwen, we’re taking sustainability in fashion and skincare to new heights, while Brentwood Home goes greener with innovative fabrics.
In October, Avocado launched two new brands. At its core, Avocado Green Brands is an advocacy platform for social and environmental responsibility. We raised the bar for sustainability in the mattress and bedding industry. Now, we’re doing the same with fashion and beauty. Through Hass and Reed + Gwen, we can be a greater force for good.
With Hass, we believe fashion can be responsible. By harnessing natural, organic, and innovative materials, as well as non-toxic dyes, we’re able to mitigate our impact on the environment. And because we stitch nearly everything in Global Organic Textile Standard certified facilities in Los Angeles, we ensure social responsibility at every step of our supply chain. The Hass model is better for you. It’s also better for farmers and workers in our factories. It’s better for communities. And it’s better for the planet.
The mission for Reed + Gwen is to set a new standard for social and environmental responsibility for skincare. We use ingredients inspired by the powerful, symbiotic relationship of nature and science. No sulfates, parabens, silicone, toxic chemicals, or hormone-disrupting substances. Just concentrated, nourishing self-care rituals that provide reliable results you can see and feel — without harming the planet.
Both Reed + Gwen and Hass are Climate Neutral Certified and Certified B Corporations — committed to net-zero emissions and balancing purpose with profit. The brands are also members of 1% For the Planet, and we’ll donate 1% of all revenues to our nonprofit partners.
As we developed these two new brands, we’ve also pushed Brentwood Home, a subsidiary of Avocado Green Brands that manufacturers affordable memory foam mattresses in Los Angeles, to be more innovative and green. Brentwood Home products harness low-impact materials like REPREVE®, an innovative performance fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Brentwood also now uses only organic certified latex and wool from our own farms and organic cotton — all naturally renewable resources — as well as upcycled cotton denim from new cutting scraps, organic coconut husk fiber, natural buckwheat hulls, drought-tolerant hemp, incredibly soft Tencel® made from wood pulp, and recycled steel. Many Brentwood Home mattresses and toppers are also infused with up to 20% BioFoam, a patented biological foam made in the United States from vegetable materials, such as corn, sunflower seeds, castor oil beans, and soybeans. BioFoam® received a Cradle to Cradle® Certification™, a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products. Brentwood Home, which we operate out of its own Los Angeles-based factory, is also Climate Neutral Certified for net-zero emissions across its entire footprint. And for every mattress sold on its website, we make a donation to the National Forest Foundation. Our goal is to plant 10,000 trees. It’s part of our ambitious effort to help stem the impact of climate change and help replant America’s forests.
The Healthiest Materials On The Planet
From our organic mattresses and bedding to our responsible apparel and conscious beauty rituals, we create safe, affordable products without harming the planet.
When we created Avocado, we didn’t just set out to make non-toxic organic mattresses and bedding — we also wanted to build one of the world’s most trusted sustainable businesses.
The typical consumer product company’s supply chain accounts for 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of its impact on air, land, water, biodiversity, and geological resources. Plus, the manufacturing of products results in the often inadequately treated discharge of toxic chemicals into our air and water, as well as hazardous workplace situations.
That’s why it’s important for us to own our entire process — from the farm to the mattress — and implement responsible, sustainable practices every step of the way, like owning our own GOTS certified latex and wool farms and our GOLS certified organic factory in Los Angeles. No other mattress and bedding company can say that. By removing the middlemen in the supply chain, we’re also able to work symbiotically with farmers, fostering local relationships and developing rural communities, while making sure we meet the strict ecological and social responsibility practices outlined by our rigorous organic certifications.
The 200,000 sheep we raise wander throughout the 40,000 hectares we manage in the Himachal Pradesh region of northern India. We use our sustainably harvested wool — one of the world’s most breathable, soft, and thermoregulating natural fibers in the world — for both our Avocado Green and Latex mattresses, as well as our Luxury Crib Mattress, Organic Crib Mattress, and toppers.
In India and Guatemala, we co-own our Avocado Organic Latex processing facilities along with latex farms we also manage. Among thousands of rows of rubber trees (Hevea Brasiliensis), our farmers harvest the pure rubber sap that is used to make the latex foam cores in our mattresses and toppers.
GOTS Organic Wool
Sitting along the white-water Sutlej River in Rampur, India, our GOTS organic certified wool factory is a linchpin of the community. Many of the employees are women who were victims of domestic violence, and their jobs support their independence. Inside, no chemicals are used. The raw wool is naturally cleaned, carded, and combed, creating some of the best quality wool in the world.
BRENTWOOD HOME: INNOVATIVE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
At our sister company, Brentwood Home, we make mattresses, pillows, sheets, and yoga cushions greener by using natural, recycled, and innovative materials for greater comfort, performance, and sustainability. Our mattresses are crafted with organic certified latex, cotton, and wool, as well as natural flax and coconut husk fibers. All of our memory foams are made with BioFoam® and activated charcoal. And we integrate upcycled denim scraps, recycled plastics, and innovative polyesters made from wood pulp for more sustainable textiles.
We also use recycled steel wire of various gauges in the production of our individually wrapped innerspring units — essential to our hybrid mattress designs. Steel is a naturally sustainable material — it's 100% recyclable and the most recycled material in the world.
Billions of plastic bottles go into landfills — and our oceans — every year. REPREVE® is an innovative material that harnesses used plastic bottles to create a recycled polyester performance fabric. By using REPREVE® in a variety of woven tickings and covers, we produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions and use less energy and water compared to manufacturing virgin synthetic fibers.
We upcycle denim scraps — the byproduct from the production of new cotton denim jeans — to create a support layer for our mattresses that is natural, breathable, and reduces waste. Our recycled denim pad is a high-performance thermoregulating material. It’s also free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to indoor air pollution. By upcycling this natural material, we prevent the denim scraps from ending up in the landfill.
HASS: SUSTAINABLE FASHION ESSENTIALS
Hass uses some of the most sustainable fabrics on the planet, like GOTS organic certified cotton, alpaca, renewable alpaca fiber, and sustainable Lenzing certified Modal. By harnessing natural fabrics, we reduce our impact on our environment — less water consumption, fewer carbon emissions. Our organic labels also verify less pesticide use, which is better for everyone who comes into contact with our fabrics — from our farmers to our factory team to you. And natural materials are more luxurious. They feel better. They last longer. They look great.
We’ve also implemented an Impact Score index that rates each piece in our capsule collections according to the categories and methodologies from the Business of Fashion’s Sustainability Index and B Corp. By holding ourselves accountable, ensuring we’re as transparent as possible, measuring our emissions, waste, water use, and material impact, and standing up for workers’ rights, we’re able to evaluate and acknowledge the ways we can improve — while also celebrating the areas we’re pushing the industry.
Hass is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a global, multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the fashion industry’s global value chain. As a member, we’re better able to measure the environmental and social impact of our own facilities, as well as our tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers — from material sourcing and manufacturing to the finished product.
REED + GWEN: BEYOND CLEAN BEAUTY
Our new plant-based beauty products are radically sustainable and transparent, obsessively safe, formulated with little or no water, made in the USA with the very best ingredients sourced from around the world, and free from synthetic fragrances.
Reed + Gwen focuses on transparency in formulation and puts every product through rigorous, scientific testing to ensure the ingredients we use are safe, non-toxic, and don’t include harsh chemicals that could be potentially dangerous. By doing this, we’re protecting the health of our customers and the environment. And we don’t use synthetic fragrances, either, opting instead for botanical extracts with non-toxic, natural scents.
RADICALLY SUSTAINABLE, TRANSPARENT, AND OBSESSIVELY SAFE
In addition, our lab-tested formulas pair the powerful and restorative properties of plants with trusted, tested, science-backed ingredients known for their high-quality performance. No parabens, sulfates, silicone, or other toxic, hormone-disrupting materials. Just nourishing formulas and proven results.
The majority of our bath and body rituals are anhydrous — made with little or no water. By removing water from our formulas, we’re able to ensure every ingredient in our nutrient-rich concentrates serves a purpose while staying true to our sustainability mission. That means no fillers or unnecessary additives, and a smaller carbon footprint — plus, they’re easier to travel with. Every now and then, water is required to activate a key ingredient in one of our formulas — but we keep this to a minimum, only doing so when absolutely necessary.
We Know We Can Do More
The journey continues — our sustainability goals for 2022 are bold and ambitious.
Divert at least 80% of our waste away from the landfill
Reduce plastic usage by 50% in mattress packaging
Establish circular system for previously loved product
Continue to push what it means to be transparent by establishing a verified blockchain for our wool and latex
Utilize the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Higg Index tools to increase transparency and standards for fair working practices throughout our supply chain
Implement verified blockchain traceability for latex and wool materials
Honoring The Land
We stand in solidarity with Indigenous people’s movements and recognize the Native territories on which Avocado operates.
Avocado wants to acknowledge that it operates on the traditional territory of Native people. Our offices are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, on the traditional territory of the Munsee Lenape people. Our factory in Fullerton, California, is on land in the traditional territory of the Tongva and Kizh people. Avocado recognizes the impacts of colonialism and is committed to supporting Indigenous causes through our partnership with 1% For the Planet.
During winter 2020, and from June to December 2021, we donated 1% of all our revenues to Trees, Water & People. The organization is on a mission to improve, protect, and manage natural resources with climate-vulnerable populations. TWP designs conservation projects throughout Latin America and U.S. tribal lands to enhance the environment while creating economic opportunities for locals.