The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to the global climate and ecological crisis accounting for up to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Much of this impact occurs at the raw materials stage of the supply chain, like when cotton is farmed or trees are cut down to create viscose. But when brands source these materials, they often have little to no visibility on the environmental impact of them.
In 2019, we set out to create a tool that would give companies the data they need to make more responsible sourcing decisions. The first version of the Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE), and we’re inviting other brands to get involved. The tool, which is built on Earth Engine and uses Cloud computing, assesses the environmental risk of different fibers across regions as it relates to environmental factors such as air pollution, biodiversity, climate and greenhouse gasses, forestry and water use.
With this tool, brands will easily be able to identify environmental risks across more than 20 fiber types including natural, cellulosic and synthetics materials.The tool will also provide brands with recommendations for targeted and regionally specific risk reduction activities including opportunities to work with farmers, producers and communities, such as investing in regenerative agriculture practices.
We worked with fashion brand and leader in sustainability, to understand the industry’s needs and to test the platform.