Kering Could Boost Sustainability, Launches Free Environmental Calculator For Designers

by: Rosie Dalton | 3 years ago | News

Photography by Ryan McGinley. Image source.

Ethics are increasingly becoming part of the curriculum at many of the top fashion schools around the globe. So it makes sense, then, that one of the biggest luxury fashion groups in the world (Kering) would decide to launch an environmental calculator that aims to simplify things further for designers. Designed to serve as the backbone of a new fashion-design curriculum at Parsons School of Design at The New School, the calculator is based on the French luxury conglomerate’s Environmental Profit & Loss methodology — which attaches a monetary figure to the ecological impact of a company’s business and supply-chain operations. Entitled My EP&L, the app will help students in the Kering x Parsons: EP&L pilot program.

Available for free download though, the app isn’t exclusive for Parsons students, which means it could also revolutionise the way many designers approach their supply chains. Allowing them to weigh the pros and cons of their creative decisions, it provides a visualisation of a typical product’s impact at various points in its life cycle. After selecting four items for example — a jacket, shoe, handbag and ring — app users can toggle through a range of options from type of raw material to manufacturing origin.

The app will then analyse the cumulative effect of more than 5,000 indicators, including carbon emissions, water use, waste production, water and air pollution, land-use changes, as well as the product’s final impact. As Ecouterre puts it, My EP&L allows users to determine how so-called ‘better’ decisions can result in more-sustainable designs. The comparative tool shows that a bag composed of French leather, lined with Chinese silk, and embellished with brass hardware from Chile, for instance, ‘costs’ €4.40 less than a similar version made out of American leather, lined with Chinese linen, and given hardware derived from Chinese bamboo. Which represents an environmental savings of 26%.

“’My EP&L’ illustrates the power of an Environmental Profit and Loss analysis and will assist fashion designers to easily calculate better options in real time in order to embed sustainability into their products at the very beginning of the design phase,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering. “As part of our ongoing commitment to advocate the importance of sustainability with the next generation entering our industry, we are excited to expand our Parsons collaboration with a view to sharing ‘My EP&L’ with further educational institutions following the pilot.”

In addition to the app, the Kering x Parsons collaboration will also offer modules designed to incorporate “practical lessons in sustainability” into the Parsons curriculum. In three senior ‘Systems & Society Thesis’ sections and two ‘Materiality Thesis’ sections for example, students will have the opportunity to study the EP&L process, compare materials, and discern the ways sourcing and manufacturing choices can influence a product’s carbon footprint. According to Burak Cakmak, dean of fashion at Parsons, “sustainability education is vital for our students, and with Kering’s help, Parsons will be educating the next generation of fashion industry leaders who can create powerful change”.

Via Ecouterre

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