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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Master's Group Project
(2024)

Water Footprint Methodology for Everlane’s Supply Chain

Blue Prints

Group Members: Lauren Barnum , Abby Celentano, Danielle Hoekstra, Julia Kuhlman, Nhi Phan

Faculty Advisors: Arturo Keller

Client: Everlane

Deliverables:

Proposal

Final Report

Executive Summary

Description

In response to the apparel industry's significant water consumption, our project developed a comprehensive water footprint methodology for Everlane so the company could understand the impacts its products have on global water resources. Everlane is an apparel and footwear brand committed to sustainability, known for its transparent pricing, ethical manufacturing practices, and focus on timeless essentials. Our scope focused on Everlane's top three most- used fabric materials: cotton, man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCFs), and polyester. The methodology involved gathering data from a supplier survey and industry databases like the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) Index, and researching the best available data through a literature review. With this data, we calculated Everlane’s blue, gray, and green water footprint for Tiers 1-4 of its supply chain. Results revealed Everlane's total water footprint: 9 million cubic meters – 1.8 million cubic meters of blue water, 5 million cubic meters of gray water, and 2.2 million cubic meters of green water. Notably, Tier 4 activities (i.e. raw material production) accounted for 99% of Everlane's water footprint, with MMCFs and polyester requiring significant gray water usage. We also completed a risk assessment using the WWF Water Risk Filter to highlight suppliers operating in regions of high risk, emphasizing the need for ongoing supplier engagement and transparent material sourcing to mitigate water risk. The findings of this report emphasize the importance of measuring and managing supply chain water use in the apparel industry and provide a blueprint for others in the industry to calculate their water footprints using a standardized methodology.

Acknowledgements

UC Santa Barbara Bren School: Arturo Keller, Distinguished Professor; Eric Masanet, Professor; Cora Snyder, Water Policy Lecturer; Stacy Rebich Hespanha, Environmental Data Visualization Lecturer; Nathan Grimes, PhD Student; Stephanie Luu, MESM Student (2024)

Everlane: Katina Boutis, Director of Sustainability; Michi Fried, Supply Chain Sustainability Manager

WWF: Morgan Schneider, Senior Program Officer; Payal Luthra, Global Apparel & Textiles Lead; Ryland Dobson, Senior Water Stewardship Manager 

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