Image via Stella McCartney
At this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Google announced that it was the latest company to step up to the challenge of improving sustainability in the fashion industry. In a new pilot via Google’s Cloud platform, they also announced sustainability pioneer Stella McCartney as their first partner.
The pilot aims to give brands greater insight into the impact of their supply chains, empowering them with the knowledge needed to make sustainability decisions. Initially, Stella McCartney’s data will be analysed by Google to assess the brand’s use of raw materials, measuring key metrics such as air pollution, land use, and water and energy consumption. According to Google, the fashion industry accounts for 20% of wastewater and 10% of carbon emissions globally.
To help focus its capabilities and data processing, Google also brought on fashion innovation consultancy Current Global. As two of fashion’s most commonly-used materials, the tech giant will focus on cotton and viscose for the pilot, chosen due to the scale of production and their environmental impact.
- Nick Martin, Google Cloud Head of Retail -
Speaking at the Summit Stella McCartney said: “At Stella McCartney, we have been continuously focusing on looking at responsible and sustainable ways to conduct ourselves in fashion, it is at the heart of what we do. We are trying our best –we aren’t perfect, but we are opening a conversation that hasn’t really been had in the history of fashion.”
Ultimately, Google is striving to help companies make better sourcing decisions at the raw material stage, to ensure that sustainability is intertwined into brand strategies from the start.
Although Stella McCartney is the first brand to be publicly announced, Google says that it is actively working alongside other fashion brands, experts, NGOs and industry bodies to create an open industry-wide tool that any company can use.
We’re excited to see things unravel and hope to be able to use the system ourselves in the future.