Stella McCartney tests Google’s new fibre risk tool

Google has revealed that Stella McCartney has trialled its Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE) tool to assess the environmental risk of different fibres across regions.

The tech giant recently announced the first version of the tool, which is built on Google Earth Engine and uses Google Cloud computing.

The tool evaluates risks associated with air pollution, biodiversity, climate, greenhouse gasses, forestry, and water use.

Google said that with the tool brands can identify environmental risks across more than 20 fibre types — including natural, cellulosic, and synthetic materials. The technology can also provide companies 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

Using the tool alongside their existing sustainability strategy, Stella McCartney’s team identified cotton sources in Turkey that were facing increased water and climate risks.

Google said that other retailers – including Adidas, Allbirds, H&M Group and VF Corporation — have helped test and refine the tool

“The GFIE was born out of a partnership between Google and the WWF, and is built to complement existing tools focused on industry impact and risk analysis,” said the company. “With the initial development phase complete, Google and WWF are now transitioning GFIE to Textile Exchange, a global non-profit focused on positively impacting climate through accelerating the use of preferred fibers across the global textile industry.

Google is working towards an industry launch of the technology next year.

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