Global Fibre Impact Explorer

Global Fibre Impact Explorer

Learn how we helped design and build the Global Fibre Impact Explorer – a tool to help leading fashion brands make more sustainable sourcing decisions. We broke down complex data sets into accessible insights that enable designers to make greener choices.

Impact led design

The Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE) is an intelligent cloud-based tool that reveals the environmental cost of global fashion, guiding brands towards greener choices and transforming sustainability practices across the fashion industry.

Drawing on Google and the WWF's product vision and initial sketches, Beyond designed and engineered a product that shows fashion brands the environmental impact of their decisions.

We knew the tool needed to highlight crucial information that brands need to invest in and improve their decisions simply and accurately. The tool helps brands understand, for example, why conventional cotton sourced from a certain region comes with a higher risk to the air pollution levels there and demonstrates how an organic alternative could help lessen the impact alongside other impact-reducing recommendations.

A product with purpose that will support our planet’s ecosystem.

A rewarding partnership with Google, the WWF, Textile Exchange and other industry consultants.

A project fuelled by passion, intelligence, and collaboration.

Using technology for sustainability

The Global Fibre Impact Explorer encourages manufacturers and fashion brands to upload their fibre portfolios. Each fibre is given an overall score, ranking its environmental impact in terms of its risk to air pollution, climate, water usage and quality, forest and biodiversity. Complex data gathered from reputable sources such as Google Earth Engine and the World Bank form the backbone of this tool.

The user can explore the risks associated with
their fibre portfolios to a more granular level, thanks to up-to-date, local data from Google’s Earth Engine and other third-party data sources. Global experts from an external council, including the WWF, Canopy, Conservation International, FSC, IUCN, Textile Exchange and The Biodiversity Consultancy have reviewed the methodology.

The tool also gives brands the information needed to improve the rating of their fibres portfolio, including partnering with local communities. A range of leading brands and retailers have tested the platform.

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Turning sustainability data into actionable insights

We managed the process from design concept to MVP, developing an elegant and easy-to-use cloud-based product which combines Google Cloud’s technical capabilities with the WWF’s unparalleled conservation expertise.

It was crucial that buyers could access all the information they needed to make decisions for their brands. By using standout colours and design and a simple traffic light system, users are drawn to the information that will make a difference not only to the coming season’s clothes but to the future of the fashion industry, in which 70 percent of the environmental impact occurs at the earliest stages of the supply chain.

From its origins as a passion project within Google and the WWF, the Global Fibre Impact Explorer began to take shape when Beyond was hired to accelerate the design and build of the platform. We took these complex data sets and made them usable, providing the design and technical expertise to bring Google’s vision to life.

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A product for the future

The Global Fibre Impact Explorer was announced publicly in November 2021. Its potential for bringing transparency to the fashion industry has been reported in leading titles, including the Financial Times.Textile Exchange, the official host and operator of the Global Fibre Impact Explorer, is planning to broadly launch the tool in June 2023, ahead of COP28.

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