COPENHAGEN – Stella McCartney is to team up with Google’s Cloud platform to use artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics in a new pilot which aims to improve transparency in the global fashion supply chain reaching down to tier 4 raw material supplier levels – with viscose and cotton the first in the firing line.

In a presentation at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, it was revealed that using Google’s Cloud technology, the UK fashion brand’s own data, together with industry sources, it will be able to assess the McCartney’s environmental impact on the use of raw materials on key metrics, such as air pollution, land use and water and energy consumption.

Once developed the open-source tool is expected to be rolled out globally for anyone to use.

Speaking in Copenhagen, Ian Pattison, Head of Customer Engineering at Google noted: "Data which would have previously taken 15 years to process can now take just a day. It gives organisations the opportunity to make changes right at the beginning of the supply chain."

The news comes as retailers and brands look for new ways to improve transparency in their supply chains and puts into question traditional ways of certifying the ‘chain of custody’ of raw materials using transactions certificates – which in the past have been open to fraud.

We’ll have more on this in the next printed edition of Ecotextile News where we interview Arti Zeighami, Head of AI and analytics at H&M as well as talk to a leading Indian supplier of organic cotton who’s assessing an ongoing blockchain trial to track and trace fibre. 

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