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Google and Stella McCartney Pilot Tool to Measure Fashion’s Environmental Impact

Stella McCartney is stepping up once again to take a lead in sustainability, this time with the help of Google.

At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit Wednesday, Google announced that it is collaborating with the designer to develop a tool that uses data analytics and machine learning on Google Cloud to give brands a more comprehensive view of their supply chain. The tool will give special attention to raw material production, beginning with cotton and viscose, which were chosen because of the scale of their production, data availability and impact considerations.

“We plan to include data sources that allow companies to better measure the impact of their raw materials, relevant to key environmental factors such as air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water scarcity,” Google said in a statement. “Our goal is not only to be able to determine the impact of producing these raw materials, but also compare the impacts of these in different regions where they are produced.”

Through the pilot with Stella McCartney, the tech giant aims to test the effectiveness of the tool and build it out for a wider variety of textiles and companies.

Stella McCartney was a natural choice for the collaboration. The vegan brand, which featured upcycled T-shirts, sustainable viscose, organic cotton and natural rubber throughout its Fall ’19 runway collection, has been a pioneer in sustainability at the luxury level. This brand recently introduced Stella McCartney Cares Green, an arm of the Stella McCartney Foundation, to further promote sustainability and environmental protection.

“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,” said designer Stella McCartney. “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.”