Can AI revolutionise the global fast fashion industry?

New research shows artificial intelligence (AI) can reduce fast fashion’s carbon footprint by improving supply chain efficiencies.

The fast fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Employing some 75 million people and valued at over US$2.5 trillion (A$3.8 trillion), it is responsible for about 10% of global carbon emissions.

The evidence: the industry must embrace more sustainable business practices.

The findings of a new study, co-authored by the UNSW Institute for Climate Risk & Response, have shown that AI-driven technologies can be harnessed for climate action and significantly advance environmental and market performance.

The study, “Unleashing the Power of Artificial Intelligence for Climate Action in Industrial Markets,” was co-authored by an international team of researchers, including lead author Professor Shahriar Akter, Associate Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Business & Law, University of Wollongong, and Professor David Grant, Senior Deputy Director at the UNSW Institute for Climate Risk & Response.

“Due to AI’s unique capacity to collect, integrate, and interpret big data sets, our proposed AI framework provides a data-driven approach to address climate risks, focusing on the environment, infrastructure, and market in an actionable and systematic manner,” explained Professor Akter.

“Our study’s findings have shown enormous potential for helping companies achieve emissions-related targets and meet their reporting and assurance obligations related to Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions as defined under the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol (2004),” said Professor Grant.

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