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Life cycle assessment of clothing libraries: can collaborative consumption reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion?
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy, Biorefinery and Energy.
Chalmers University of Technology, Gotehnburg, Sweden ; School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, Australia.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 162, 1368-1375 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fast fashion is a clothing supply chain model that is intended to respond quickly to the latest fashion trends by frequently updating the clothing products available in stores. The shift towards fast fashion leads to shorter practical service lives for garments. Collaborative consumption is an alternative way of doing business to the conventional model of ownership-based consumption, and one that can potentially reduce the environmental impacts of fashion by prolonging the practical service life of clothes. In this study, we used life cycle assessment to explore the environmental performance of clothing libraries, as one of the possible ways in which collaborative consumption can be implemented, and compared the advantages and disadvantages in relation to conventional business models. Furthermore, the key factors influencing the environmental impact of clothing libraries were investigated. We based our assessment on three key popular garments that are stocked in clothing libraries: jeans, T-shirts and dresses. The results showed the benefits of implementing clothing libraries associated with the garments’ prolonged service lives. Therefore to achieve environmental gains, it is important to substantially increase garment service life. Moreover, the results quantitatively demonstrated the potential risk of problem shifting: increased customer transportation can completely offset the benefits gained from reduced production. This highlighted the need to account for the logistics when implementing collaborative consumption business models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 162, 1368-1375 p.
Keyword [en]
Clothing, Garment, Textile, Clothing library, Collaborative consumption, Life cycle assessment, LCA, Environmental assessment, Environment, Systems analysis, Sharing economy, Commercial sharing system, Product-service systems, Reuse, Access-based consumption, Logistics, Transport, Fast fashion, Fashion, Business model, Jeans, T-shirt, Dress, Cotton, Polyester, Elastane, Problem shifting, Apparel, Climate change, Ecotoxicity, Eutrophication, Water use, Environmental impact
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-29993DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.06.128OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-29993DiVA: diva2:1115530
Projects
Mistra Future Fashion
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Available from: 2017-06-27 Created: 2017-06-27 Last updated: 2017-06-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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More styles
Language
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