Climate Action

Google teams up with Stella McCartney for new sustainable fashion initiative

Google has teamed up with fashion designer Stella McCartney for a new sustainable fashion initiative.

  • 16 May 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

Google has teamed up with fashion designer Stella McCartney for a new sustainable fashion initiative.

Google has announced the launch of an experiment in collaboration with innovation consultancy Current Global.

The initiative, revealed at Copenhagen’s Fashion Summit, aims to focus on the raw materials stage providing brands with greater visibility as to the environmental impact of different textiles.

The tool will use data analytics and machine learning on Google Cloud, focused on 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.  

The 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.

To start, it will look at cotton and viscose as these two materials are used significantly in the textile industry.

Cotton accounts for 25% of all fibres used by the fashion industry, with a notable impact on water and pesticide use. Viscose production is smaller but growing in demand, and has links to the destruction of forests, some endangered, which are critical in mitigating carbon emissions.

To bring the initiative to life, Google and Current Global are working with Stella McCartney on the pilot.

Last year, Stella McCartney initiated the UN charter for sustainable fashion. The charter detailed 16 commitments to help fashion companies curb the immense damage the industry is having on the planet.

Kate Brandt, Sustainability Officer at Google, said: “This pilot with Stella is a great step in the fashion industry’s bid to become more sustainable.”