Google Cloud wears Stella McCartney

The Fashion industry is estimated to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the UK, France and Germany combined and, by now, the commitment towards a greener future seems miserable in this specific market. However, a partnership among WWF, Stella McCartney, Google and The Textile Exchange has been announced: the companies have developed together the Google Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE), a platform that helps companies identify high-risk fibres. Indeed, the aim is to promote sustainable and responsible sourcing, considering different region-specific environmental factors, such as air pollution, biodiversity, greenhouse gases and water quality. “Producing the product in the fashion industry, they don’t really have the information. (…) I think everyone really wants to try and source in a better way, there’s a demand there” says Stella McCartney.

This particular tool, that utilizes technology from Google Earth and the Google Cloud, will not only help assessing the risks of the fibres but will also provide specific instructions regarding risk-reduction activities, inviting companies to invest in regenerative agriculture practices. For instance, Stella McCartney, that served as the “guinea pig” in testing the platform, was able to discover cotton sources in Turkey that were facing increasing water and climate change risks. Hence, the fashion giant decided to partner with farmers in the area that do not use pesticides.

But, how did they come up with the platform and how does it work?

Google worked with Stella McCartney, which is a leader in sustainability in the luxury market, to understand the industry’s needs and to test the platform, but this brand was not the only one that contributed: Adidas, Allbirds, H&M Group and VF Corporation helped refining the tool to make sure that it was useful to everyone, also in other sectors.

The platform was born from a partnership between Google and the WWF and is based on already existing mechanisms focused on industry impact and risk analysis. On the GFIE, brands can upload their fibre portfolio data. Google Maps will then identify the region these materials come from, and, with the help of Google Cloud, it will rate the sources as high, medium or low-risk ones. The next phase consists in comparing different fibres to help the brand make better sourcing decisions and visualize a wide range of actions that can be taken to mitigate the risk: the recommendations specifically assess the single brand issues.  

After having completed the first development phase, Google and WWF are now transitioning the platform to Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization that collects and publishes critical industry data and insights in order to give brands and retailers the opportunity to measure, manage and track the use of different materials.  Google has already a team of 80 people working on the Explorer, with a 20 per cent time spent on the project, and the role of this organization will be fundamental in the next phases in order to launch GFIE in 2022.

It is already possible for companies to register on the platform, in order to reach their goal of making more informed decisions for the planet.

Of course, not only the project will help fashion brands to comply with sustainability, but it is also a fundamental tool for Google to clear its own image from the accusations raised by Greenpeace last year regarding partnerships between Google and oil and gas companies.

 

Author: Emma Gugliotta

Google Cloud wears Stella McCartney

The Fashion industry is estimated to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the UK, France and Germany combined and, by now, the commitment towards a greener future seems miserable in this specific market. However, a partnership among WWF, Stella McCartney, Google and The Textile Exchange has been announced: the companies have developed together the Google Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE), a platform that helps companies identify high-risk fibres. Indeed, the aim is to promote sustainable and responsible sourcing, considering different region-specific environmental factors, such as air pollution, biodiversity, greenhouse gases and water quality. “Producing the product in the fashion industry, they don’t really have the information. (…) I think everyone really wants to try and source in a better way, there’s a demand there” says Stella McCartney.

This particular tool, that utilizes technology from Google Earth and the Google Cloud, will not only help assessing the risks of the fibres but will also provide specific instructions regarding risk-reduction activities, inviting companies to invest in regenerative agriculture practices. For instance, Stella McCartney, that served as the “guinea pig” in testing the platform, was able to discover cotton sources in Turkey that were facing increasing water and climate change risks. Hence, the fashion giant decided to partner with farmers in the area that do not use pesticides.

But, how did they come up with the platform and how does it work?

Google worked with Stella McCartney, which is a leader in sustainability in the luxury market, to understand the industry’s needs and to test the platform, but this brand was not the only one that contributed: Adidas, Allbirds, H&M Group and VF Corporation helped refining the tool to make sure that it was useful to everyone, also in other sectors.

The platform was born from a partnership between Google and the WWF and is based on already existing mechanisms focused on industry impact and risk analysis. On the GFIE, brands can upload their fibre portfolio data. Google Maps will then identify the region these materials come from, and, with the help of Google Cloud, it will rate the sources as high, medium or low-risk ones. The next phase consists in comparing different fibres to help the brand make better sourcing decisions and visualize a wide range of actions that can be taken to mitigate the risk: the recommendations specifically assess the single brand issues.  

After having completed the first development phase, Google and WWF are now transitioning the platform to Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization that collects and publishes critical industry data and insights in order to give brands and retailers the opportunity to measure, manage and track the use of different materials.  Google has already a team of 80 people working on the Explorer, with a 20 per cent time spent on the project, and the role of this organization will be fundamental in the next phases in order to launch GFIE in 2022.

It is already possible for companies to register on the platform, in order to reach their goal of making more informed decisions for the planet.

Of course, not only the project will help fashion brands to comply with sustainability, but it is also a fundamental tool for Google to clear its own image from the accusations raised by Greenpeace last year regarding partnerships between Google and oil and gas companies.

 

Author: Emma Gugliotta

RELATED