- Lingerie brand Adore Me has joined forces with startup Carbonfact, which developed a software that predicts a fashion company’s carbon emissions, according to a Thursday news release.
- Carbonfact’s software estimates the emissions that will be produced to create a brand’s collection based on factors like where clothing is manufactured and what materials are used.
- The partnership allows Adore Me’s designers and production team to simulate whether changing the product catalog, such as selecting different materials, would lower the company’s carbon footprint. This, in turn, will help Adore Me meet its goal of achieving net zero status by 2050, the company said.
Most of the fashion industry’s carbon footprint comes from scope 3 emissions, which are those a company did not produce itself but for which it is indirectly responsible. For apparel and footwear companies, that encompasses activities like producing materials such as cotton and treating textiles with dyes and chemicals.
These types of activities collectively account for over half of the industry’s annual carbon emissions, according to a 2020 report from McKinsey & Co. However, they are also notoriously difficult to track.
Carbonfact bills its software as a way to tackle this issue.
“Tracking carbon footprint and decarbonizing are two of the biggest hurdles fashion brands face, as classic carbon accounting can take weeks or even months, and cost upwards of $15,000,” Romain Liot, chief operating officer at Adore Me, said in a statement.
Liot argued that limited data on the carbon impact of various materials also complicates the process. “This presents a major roadblock for retailers who manage ever-evolving product portfolios, making affordable and sustainable fashion a far-fetched goal for most,” Liot said.
Ranjan Roy, Adore Me’s vice president of strategy, added that conducting traditional assessments of a company’s carbon footprint only generates backwards-looking measurements, which can be hard to use to make future decisions.
“It’s such a huge task, and it’s such an expensive one,” Roy said. “Even the [companies] that did it, once you’ve done all the work, they would just publish it and then move on to the next thing. It wouldn’t actually get integrated into the way they work.”
Adore Me began implementing Carbonfact’s software in November. Part of the process included getting data from the lingerie brand’s three biggest suppliers to hone Carbonfact’s models, according to Roy.
Carbonfact has raised around $2 million in seed funding since it was founded in 2021. Its backers include Alven, a French venture capital firm, and Y Combinator, which has supported the likes of Airbnb and Instacart. The startup has also partnered with more than 150 brands and retailers, including Yoox and Net-a-porter.