July 24, 2021

Discover the most polluting fashion brands’ websites

3 min read

Yes, you read that right: A fashion brand or retailer can pollute in many ways–even through its website. Though–as in the vast scenario of fashion products–not everyone has the same environmental impact.

This is what emerges from a study conducted by Avant Grade, Swiss agency specialized in algorithms and artificial intelligence that aims to to show how the use of the Internet can be a cause of pollution.

According to the study, many fashion brands distinguish themselves by claiming to be digitally sustainable.

By checking the Italian websites of 20 international pret-à-porter fashion brands, some of them appear to be digitally sustainable by measuring their energy efficiency and their CO2 emissions. Fendi occupies the first place of the list as it emits 74% CO2 less than the average quantity produced by all other generic websites (the study evaluated each homepage’s energy consumption according to monthly traffic of 10,000 visits per month, 120,000 per year).

Ranking of less polluting fashion websites according to a study by Avant Grade

Ranking of less polluting fashion websites according to a study by Avant Grade

From the study, it emerged that 40% of these brands are energetically efficient on the web and their CO2 emissions are lower than the worldwide average.
Among the most sustainable Italian brands’ websites are Fendi (ranked as first of the fashion websites analyzed with 51 kilos of CO2 per year and) and Ferragamo (169 kilos of CO2 per year).
Among French ones, YSL (99 kilos of CO2 per year), Louis Vuitton (114 kilos of CO2 per year) and Hermes are the most virtuous ones. Most sustainable from The UK are Burberry (137 kilos of CO2 per year) and Stella McCartney (181 kilos of CO2 per year).

Others could better their energy efficiency and lower their consequent environmental impact. For instance, Moncler produces 959% more emissions and 2029 kilos of CO2 than the average produced by all other websites worldwide, Zegna produces 842% more (1805 kilos of CO2), and Givenchy 780% more than the average values (1687 kilos of CO2).

A screenshot of the Moncler website, one of the most polluting ones according to a study by Avant Grade

Photo: Moncler website screenshot

A screenshot of the Moncler website, one of the most polluting ones according to a study by Avant Grade

Avant Grade’s measurement was done with Karma Metrix, a new algorithm that measures a brand’s website ecologic performance according to 23 efficiency factors. “We want to sensitize companies in order to reduce their digital presence’s environmental impact,” said Ale Agostini, general manager Avant Grade and a digital expert and creator of Karma Metrix. “When taking marketing decisions, a company can create more efficient websites. Our dream is that by 2025 every responsible company starts measuring its energetic efficiency regularly and better the sustainability of its presence on the web.”

Agostini also explained what helps a website reduce its energy consumption: “Some elements of a page require more energy than others, but the search for efficiency doesn’t want to penalize the quantity and quality of elements in order to make the website become more efficient. The presence and kind of caching or the transmission of information protocols are some possible areas of intervention.”

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