What is RefScale

What is RefScale?

RefScale tracks the carbon and water footprint of our stuff.

We calculate how the impact of producing Ref products compares with most clothes bought in the United States. We share RefScale results for each product we make on our website and publish the totals in our Sustainability Report.

RefScale takes into consideration impacts from most processes in the product’s life cycle. We publish our methodology so you can really dig in and understand what we include in the calculations.

Q3 2022 footprint

51% CO2 savings

Carbon dioxide (Metric tons)

Ref footprint: 24,871

Conventional footprint: 47,658

Savings: 22,787

63% Water savings

Water (M gallons)

Ref footprint: 6,100

Conventional footprint: 10,329

Savings: 4,229

RefScale Verification

In 2022, we worked with third party consultants to review and verify our methodology for our internal life cycle assessment tool, RefScale. See the certification and learn more about the summary findings & verification here.

Refscale offsets

Product life cycle




Raw Materials

Fabric manufacturing

Fabric dyeing

Material transit

Product manufacturing

Commercial garment wash



Customer garment care

Garment end-of-life


CO2 emissions

Why is RefScale important?

At Reformation we think about all the costs in creating fashion—not just the price tag.

We share this information on every product page of our website and tell you what impact each garment has on the environment, and how it reduces these impacts compared to most clothes bought in the US. This way we all get to see the total cost of fashion so you can make empowered choices. And we can keep creating better solutions when it comes to making clothes, like how we source.

What impacts do we measure?

 CO2

Production emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which pollute our atmosphere and contribute to climate change. Cotton, leather, and other raw materials grown in industrial farms create huge energy footprints. Polyester, nylon, and other petroleum-based fabrics emit harmful volatile organic compounds and nitrous oxide - a greenhouse gas almost 300x more potent than CO2.

 Water

Manufacturing textiles is very water intensive. Processes like cultivating crops, extracting and cleaning the fibers, spinning it into yarn and weaving yarn into textiles require water. When reporting water footprints in the production of our garments, we look at the potential of water deprivation by considering both water consumption and scarcity/region.


It’s not enough just to manufacture sustainably, so we also invest in programs that replace some of the resources we’ve spent, which is where offsets come in. Basically, in exchange for the resources used to make our clothes we partner with different organizations to help put some of them back. You can also offset your personal life by purchasing climate credits. Our offset partner will direct your purchase to support projects that actively reduce CO2 emissions.