Farfetch, the London-based online luxury fashion platform, has just introduced a new fashion footprint tool aimed at helping shoppers track the environmental impact of their spending decisions. The new carbon footprint calculator is a part of the company’s sustainability efforts as the conscious consumerism trend takes over the fashion industry.
The new fashion footprint tool, which the company describes as empowering shoppers to “think, act and choose positively”, will show Farfetch users the impact of specific materials in their purchases and the savings they are making if they choose to buy secondhand or recycled clothing. The platform had recently introduced a new “Second Life” initiative, which gives shoppers credit in exchange for secondhand designer apparel and accessories.
“Farfetch has been selling a curated selection of pre-owned and vintage fashion online since 2010, and in 2019 launched two services offering customers the ability to sell or donate their pre-owned items,” said Thomas Berry, director of sustainable business at Farfetch.
“We wanted to better understand the environmental benefits of all these models as we continue to focus on projects to enable us and our partners to reduce environmental impacts.”
Farfetch’s fashion footprint calculator was launched in tandem with the company’s latest report into the second-hand market in the United Kingdom, United States and China. Surveying over 3,000 consumers, the global average showed that consumers now purchase around 8 preloved wardrobe items and accessories annually.
“Existing data shows that luxury resale represents a US$24 billion market that is growing four times faster than the primary luxury market, partly due to consumer interest in sustainable fashion,” said Berry.
The research showed that purchasing one preloved fashion item helps to save 1 kilogram of waste, over 3,000 litres of water and 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. These environmental indicators will be included in the fashion footprint tool, so consumers can better understand how avoiding brand new items can benefit the planet.
“With this research, we want to support our partners and more broadly the luxury industry, in helping to drive positive change,” added Giorgio Belloli, the chief sustainability officer at Farfetch.
“We aim to become a source for data and tools in the circular space to drive this positive change. This marks the first step into that direction.”
Farfetch’s move comes as other fashion companies have begun launching carbon calculators in response to increasing consumer awareness about sustainability. Most recently, eco footwear brand Allbirds announced that they will be showing a carbon label on every single sneaker in its collection. It followed ThredUP, the world’s largest resale fashion retailer, who launched a similar fashion calculator tool on its platform earlier in January.
But the onus isn’t only on consumers. Fashion accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of water contamination – but a large proportion of the industry’s enormous footprint is attributable to the raw material and production process. Targeting fashion brands, Google and WWF recently partnered to launch a digital platform with environmental and sustainability information to inform responsible sourcing decisions.