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    Sustaina-Story: Traceability Tracker (Sustainability Database And Rating Platform) & Networking

    by Michelle Han 07/03/2019 07:29 PM BST

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          Traceability Tracker (Sustainability Database)

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          Sustaina-Story is an extension service app designed by Michelle Han featuring the Traceability Tracker supplemented with a mini networking platform in order to engage users and corporations in sustainability conversations. Its four core values are education and certification (supported through the Tracker) and discussion and connection (accomplished through the networking component.)

          The Traceability Tracker is an online platform founded in a goal of holding companies accountable to the realities of their garments' journeys as well as providing customers with real-time, annually updated information on WHO made their clothes, HOW they were made, and WHERE they go after use. The database will track and tag brands with a sustainability score of 1-10 overall based on its score of 1-10 within the five categories of: 

          Stage 1: Root & Foundation (20%)- This represents the very start point of any garment in its lifecycle: where does the textile come from? Does it come from an organic textile farm, animal-based resources like fur or wool, etc.? Any plant-based textile such as cotton will be intensive on human labour and agricultural resources; animal-based textiles should be certified against cruelty standards (e.g. Leaping Bunny certification is the best you can get), and synthetic textiles will already rank low on their own accord as a result of the chemicals they come from. 

          Stage 2: Milling & Processing (25%): Turning the raw materials into actual textiles requires a lot of energy, water, chemicals, and labour so account for a quarter of the weighting system. What is the type of energy being used? How is water usage being reduced, what chemicals are added, and how ethical is the labour?

          Stage 3: Producing (25%) The manufacturing portion makes up another 25% of the system because it often requires heavy labour: in fast fashion, this means low pay in often terrible industrial conditions. Factories' working conditions, facilities, employee pay and location are all considered- as local as possible is often ideal.

          Stage 4: Packaging & Details (10%)- Labels, Buttons, Thread, and Packaging finish off a complete garment with 10% of the category weighting. Packaging can lead to a lot of unnecessary plastic and non eco friendly materials and contribute to a cycle of waste, so  using recycled materials or certified eco-friendly packaging is always a plus. 

          Stage 5: After-Use (20%): To conclude, one of fashion's significant problems is WASTE. Millions of clothes get dumped into landfills (sometimes after a single use) and contribute to never ending overconsumption and overproduction. To close off this loop, if companies have any sort of trade-in and receive credit; recycling; or repair program this leads to a higher 1-10 ranking in the "after-use" category. What happens after is often crucially ignored and leads to devastating landfill consequences.

          Each of the categories are weighted to give a final score of 0-10 sustainability and traceability rating per brand. This will be based on information PROVIDED and ACCESSIBLE through the company. In return, the companies that willingly cooperate benefit as a ranking of 7-8 places a corporation in the Silver Star Traceability Certification and 9-10, Gold Star Traceability Certification. These certifications can be presented or linked as an extension on the brand's site as an accreditation of its sustainability measures for curious and accountable customers. Because there will be ratings on this platform even for companies that do not perform well or cooperate it will motivate them towards sustainable directions. They will also be able to access the public platform's guidebook on how the Traceability Tracker works and what different scores convey: this way, they can incorporate concrete public advice provided to them to improve the next year around. In the meantime, customers can browse more similar but sustainable brands on the site and re-orient shopping habits. As local companies are also offered a chance at requesting certification for their own brand through the same device, the application seeks to bolster local economy and artist sales while promoting ethical practices.

          The second key component of Sustaina-Story is founded on networking: the NETWORKING system allows users to look up other users, hashtags, or locations present on the environmentalist app. Furthermore, this function allows users to private message corporations, environmental charities, and other NGOs registered on the application regarding potential positions, applications, and collaboration opportunities they have listed on their profiles. Each week, an updated set of “recommended group profiles” pop up on your "networking" feed based on geographic proximity / tag, offering access to groups’ descriptions, collaboration opportunities, website links, social media,
          status updates, and more. By providing this feature, corporations and interested creatives are able to form unique connections, allowing users to be matched to positions suited with their abilities and experiences. Finally, users can invest in meaningful
          conversations on group forums and chats oriented around any sustainability or environmentalist issue. By offering individuals a convenient access point to engage with the information they have just received via the “education” component, Sustaina-story fulfills its final two pillars of discussion and connection by generating a creative atmosphere for users to participate in multiple environment-oriented opportunities.

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