The Making app ranks materials used in clothing based on four high impact areas – water, chemistry, energy and waste – enabling users to make direct comparisons between material choices.

It is powered by data from Nike’s own materials sustainability index drawn from over seven years of materials research and analysis.

The company worked with the London College of Fashion, which is widely regarded as a leader in research and education of sustainable design, to collect additional insight and feedback during development of the app.

According to industry data, by 2015 the global apparel industry is expected to produce more than 400 billion square meters of fabric annually. Dye houses today use up to 200 tonness of water for each tonne of fabric they process.

Nike’s vice president of sustainable business Hannah Jones firmly believes that companies like her need to start sharing tools and indexes with this level of systems innovation to a wider audience.

“Imagine if we could change these figures – the sustainable difference it would make,” she said.

London College of Fashion student Alasdair Leighton-Crawford added that the app proved very helpful when testing it out on new designs.

“[It] helped us identify materials that have lower environmental impacts, without compromising the design process,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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