Photo by Milada Vigerova/Unsplash
Kering has launched an environmental calculator that will serve as the backbone of a new fashion-design curriculum at Parsons School of Design at The New School. 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, the “My EP&L” app will help students in the “Kering x Parsons: EP&L” pilot program weigh the pros and cons of their creative decisions. As part of their collaboration, Kering will also offer modules designed to incorporate “practical lessons in sustainability” in the Parsons curriculum, the school said on Thursday. In three senior “Systems & Society Thesis” sections and two “Materiality Thesis” sections, 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.
BETTER DESIGNING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
The “My EP&L” app, which is available as a free download, whether you’re enrolled at Parsons or not, provides an at-a-glance way to visualize a typical product’s impact at various points in its life cycle.
After selecting one of four items—a jacket, a shoe, a handbag, and a ring—app users can toggle through a multitude of options, from type of raw material (cashmere, wool, organic cotton, leather) to manufacturing origin.
The “My EP&L” app provides an at-a-glance way to visualize a typical product’s impact at various points in its life cycle.
The app then analyzes the cumulative effect of more than 5,000 indicators, including carbon emissions, water use, water and air pollution, waste production, and land-use changes, to calculate the product’s final impact.
As a comparative tool, “My EP&L” allows users to determine how so-called “better” decisions can result in more-sustainable designs.
The app shows that bag composed of French leather, lined with Chinese silk, and decked out in 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. That’s an environmental savings of 26 percent.
“’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,” Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering, said in a statement “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.”
Burak Cakmak, dean of fashion at Parsons, concurred. “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,” he said.