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A new tool helps brands understand the environmental risk and impact of their sourcing

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Ecolife E-Retrace

A new groundbreaking tool developed by Google and WWF aims to give data insights for the fashion industry to make better sourcing decisions.

The digital platform, called Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE), combines Google Cloud’s technical capabilities with WWF’s conservation expertise to help fashion brands make more sustainable sourcing decisions. The primary goal is to identify high risk fibres in brands’ portfolios and then guide them to recommendations on how to support local initiatives to improve their environmental impact.

The platform will allow companies to assess their portfolios across five key impact categories: air pollution, forest, biodiversity, climate and water usage and quality. The tool allows users to view a range of different fibre options and uncover actions that can be taken to mitigate risk.

Tackling the issue at its root

The raw material stage of the supply chain contributes the majority of the fashion industry’s environmental impact. It is for this reason the focus of the GFIE is on helping brands understand how to make better sourcing decisions from the very start.

What data is available?

The platform’s data is made available through a combination of sources, one of these is Google’s Earth Engine Data Catalog, a cloud-based geospatial analysis platform available through partnerships with academic institutions, enabling users to visualise and analyse satellite images of the planet.

Fibre risk impact data on a range of existing sustainability risks and impacts can be leveraged to create different levels of analysis within the tool, and will be made available to download. These sources enable the tool to identify risk factors by region and fibre.

Global Fibre Impact Explorer
Sustainable Fashion