Textile Exchange are the driving force for urgent climate action on textile fiber and materials, with a goal of 35-45% reduced CO2 emissions from textile fiber and material production by 2030.
The global non-profit asked Createful to help them design and develop a digital experience to showcase their Material Change Index: the largest peer-to-peer comparison initiative in the textile industry.
Working with a cross-continental team, design and build an interactive data visualisation for Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index (MCI) – to boost awareness of the MCI and “Companies Creating Material Change” to its fashion industry audience.
Find out more at mci.textileexchange.org
The landing page is a ‘one-stop-shop’, presenting not only the raw scoring data, but the global impacts – in a way that’s information-rich yet clean and easy-to-digest, regardless of expertise.
Createful’s design and flexible build enables the client to continue to add data as it becomes available, something that was previously difficult to achieve.
Working hand in hand with Textile Exchange’s internal designer, the Createful team were able to push the existing brand and achieve a more vibrant implementation.
The Material Change Index is a key component of Textile Exchange’s Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB) program, which enables participating companies to measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into their business. More than 170 companies voluntarily participated in the 2019/2020 program, including iconic fashion, home and sports brands like C&A, Tchibo, Nike, Patagonia, H&M, Gap, Gucci, Ikea, Target, New Balance, Adidas and Burberry.
Textile Exchange needed a vibrant and engaging online dashboard to present the key data and insights from the MCI, bringing to the surface a wealth of comparison information on participating companies, such as sustainable materials sourcing, alignment with Sustainable Development Goals and the transition to a circular economy.
Earlier iterations of the tool achieved the task of presenting the raw data but did not fully provide the means for future growth – there was a lot of manual graphics production required. The goal of this project was to produce a rich, dynamic experience that would not only accommodate this year’s data, but that of the years ahead.
When Createful came on board the project, there were several work streams simultaneously in play: content strategy, a website refresh and a large-scale data gathering and restructuring exercise taking place across an international team. It was important that the MCI landing page would achieve several key goals:
Our UX designer worked closely with Textile Exchange’s Materials Strategy Director, along with their internal design team and a consulting content and brand strategist, to mould the existing thinking into the basis for a digital experience.
The project began with a discovery sprint, wherein our team gained insight into the story so far: the history of the programme, the strategic and brand thinking that had begun, as well as the specifics of how data would be structured. In this stage, we were able to assist the client with the decision-making as to what data insights to prioritise to produce a straightforward and usable digital experience before the design thinking would begin.
A key requirement for the work Createful would produce was for it to be ‘standalone’ from the rest of the Textile Exchange website, but still feel seamlessly integrated from a user’s point of view. While the initial discovery and design work was taking place, our Front-End Developer set to work building a framework for the page that aligned with the existing website, to ensure our work could be ‘dropped in’ simply by the client’s own web developer.
Parallel to the project, the Textile Exchange research teams would be finalising their work in gathering and structuring the data that would be presented on the MCI portal. Therefore, our approach to design needed to fluidly adapt to changing parameters. A close relationship with the Textile Exchange team made this possible, despite key stakeholders being located across Europe, the United States and Australia.
Once the initial design ideas had been sketched out, Createful’s UX Designer produced an interactive prototype that demonstrated how the range of data and visualisation types could be structured into a coherent visual story. This prototype would be the basis for discussion and evolution of ideas, and using an online collaboration platform we were able to easily harvest comments and suggestions from across the stakeholder group. Armed with this prototype, the client and their consulting strategy partner were able to structure the content of the page.
When the prototype was complete and refined through a process of stakeholder engagement, Createful’s Designer set about applying the Textile Exchange brand identity to produce a visual theme that demonstrated exactly how the final product would look when integrated with their colourways and typographic style. With the support of their internal design team, Createful added our own twist on the existing brand, the result being a design that felt fresh and new whilst still ‘part of the family’.
At the same time as visual design was being finalised, our build team took the prototype and built out the initial framework we had produced into a fully-developed skeleton of the page, ready for the aesthetic elements to be integrated as soon as they were approved – this was key to ensuring that the project moved along with maximum momentum along its ambitious timeline.
As the final pieces of the brand and visual design came together, it was time to incorporate it into the build. Early in the development process, Createful deployed a work-in-progress version of the tool to a location where all stakeholders could watch it evolve in real-time. This provided a ‘live’ reference, to help them refine their content and data sets, passing them to our Development team as soon as it became available.
We also produced a piece of ‘middleware’ functionality that would enable the client to transform their data from their source spreadsheet format into a version that could be processed by the website, reducing further the amount of effort that would be required to update the site in the future.
When all the project strands – web programming, content and data – came together, we packaged it all up ready to be deployed into the website.
Explore the landing page and learn more about the Material Change Index and Companies Creating Material Change on the Textile Exchange website.
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