The Methodology Behind the Switchbackr Sustainability Index
Updated: Apr 30
In order to quantify our environmental impact, the Good Team at Switchbackr developed our proprietary Sustainability Index. Learn more about our methodology here!
As avid outdoor people, we understand how crucial it is to disrupt traditional models of consumption—that’s why we created Switchbackr. Shop on Switchbackr and save not only money, but also the outdoor places that you love.
As data nerds, we needed to quantify our impact, so we created our proprietary Sustainability Index. This tool shows the amount of carbon and water emissions that our shoppers save by purchasing used gear on Switchbackr (in this example, a pair of K2 Poacher Skis, 185cm).
Since we do not manufacture any of the gear sold on our platform, calculating impact is a complex and sophisticated process. Here's how we tackled it:
Calculated representative averages of fabric compositions based on product type (e.g., polyester and nylon were a common fabric combination for many sleeping bags, while cotton and polyester were a common combination for many Men’s jackets.)
Determined average weights for our products, taking into account different sizes and variants of the same product.
Based on most prevalent fabrics, we calculated the carbon and water footprint of those fabrics, from cultivation all the way to manufacturing.
Used matrix multiplication to bring all the data together!
See below for a simplified version of our sustainability math:
We took the following matrices
And multiplied everything together!
The final output was an n x 2 matrix which represented the kilograms of carbon and liters of water saved by purchasing each item on Switchbackr.
We are constantly working to improve our sustainability learnings at Switchbackr, so items' impact indices may be updated and change from time to time.
Let us know what you think by leaving a note below or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.