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Google launches new sustainable fashion pilot

Google has today announced a partnership with fashion icon Stella McCartney in a bid to measure the environmental impact of the fashion industry. 

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At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit on Wednesday, Google Cloud is set to announce a new pilot in collaboration with sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney aimed at giving brands more insight into the environmental impact of their supply chains.

The cloud provider hopes to expand the trial to an industry-wide tool to help retailers measure their environmental footprint and to dampen the impact of fashion production.

Currently, the fashion industry accounts for 20 per cent of waste water and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions.

The pilot will see the fashion icon use Google Cloud’s technology to analyse data to understand the impact of raw materials on key environmental metrics like water and energy consumption.

Brands will also be able to estimate the projected impact of an item of clothing throughout the stages of its development by leveraging machine learning.

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Retailers will be able to initially look at the impacts of cotton and viscose, with cotton accounting for 25 per cent of all fibres used by the fashion industry and viscose directly linked to the destruction of forests.

Nick Martin, Head of Retail, Google Cloud described the lack of transparency around the impacts of fashion production at the early stages of the supply chain as an “industry wide problem.”

“Gaps in the data continue to persist due to its complexity and global nature,” according to Mr Martin.

The search engine says it hopes that the tool will be used by businesses small and large to promote transparency in their supply chains.

“We hope that our experiment will give fashion brands greater visibility of impact within their supply chain and actionable insights to make better raw material sourcing decisions with sustainability in mind,” Mr Martin said.

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