Parsons School of Design and Kering Collaborate on Measuring Environmental Impact of Designs

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A New Design Course Will be Launched and Students Will Utilize a New App to Measure the Environmental Impact of Their Designs

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The new app will track the impact of a product on the environment

The New School’s Parsons School of Design and Kering announced a new collaboration under their long-standing partnership today, with the launch of a new design curriculum which will leverage the pioneering KERING x PARSONS: EP&L program pilot and the My EP&L App to measure and better understand the environmental impacts of students’ creations.

 

As part of their collaboration, Kering is introducing new modules to the Parsons Fashion program and embedding practical lessons in sustainability into the Parsons curriculum. Parsons will offer the Kering modules to students in three senior Systems & Society Thesis sections and two Materiality Thesis sections. Students will have the opportunity to study Kering’s Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) methodology, which measures and monetizes the environmental impacts from business’ activities across the entire supply chain. Students will also learn how to integrate sustainability from the very start of the design process by evaluating and comparing various materials’ and understanding how their choices influence the extent of the environmental impacts from sourcing to manufacturing via the My EP&L App, introduced by Kering. Students’ thesis projects will subsequently be evaluated and scored on both design and sustainability criteria, with the ten top students given unparalleled exposure for their designs in an exclusive Design Exhibition, following the course and hosted by Kering and Parsons.

Piloted as part of the Parsons curriculum, My EP&L App is based on Kering’s EP&L methodology and is an easy way for design students and the fashion industry to visualize the environmental impact of a typical product from raw material extraction through to sales.  Highlighting 4 different items in our wardrobe to select – jackets, shoes, handbags and rings – My EP&L App users can choose the raw materials used (such as cashmere, wool, organic cotton, leather), where these are sourced from and then manufactured. In each category the environmental impacts from carbon emissions, water use, water and air pollution, waste production and land use changes are then analysed from an underlying 5000+ indicators to calculate a product’s final impact.  Furthermore, My EP&Lcan be used as acomparative toolby allowing users to understand and determine better options in order to ascertain lower impact decisions and ultimately create more sustainable designs.  As an illustration, My EP&L shows that by choosing between a bag made from French leather with the inner lining in Chinese silk and hardware in brass from Chile versus a bag made out of U.S. leather with the inner lining in Chinese linen and hardware in Chinese bamboo there is 4.40€ less EP&L impact from the first product decisions, or 26% environmental savings.

“My EP&L illustrates the power of an Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) 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 theimportance 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.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Kering on this important initiative for our students,” said Burak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design. “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.”

To download the My EP&L App on a smartphone click here: App Store and the Android version

*This story first appeared on The New School

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