Here’s How Sustainable Sweden’s Fashion Industry Is

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

H&M closed loop textiles denim

Mistra Future Fashion (MFF) in Sweden is setting the bar for both the Swedish fashion industry and its stakeholders.

The cross-disciplinary research program announced results of the “Clarifying Sustainable Fashion” project, an initiative launched to refine the definition of sustainable fashion, assist the greater fashion sphere’s environmental performance and strengthen the Swedish fashion industry’s global competitiveness.

The project involved five key garments evaluated under Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a globally accepted structure that rates the environmental impacts of a product’s life cycle from start to finish. LCA tracks the sustainability of a product from raw material extraction, to material processing, to product manufacture, to distribution, to use, to disposal and finally to recycling. A T-shirt, a pair of jeans, a dress, a jacket and a hospital uniform were the selected garments for MFF’s endeavor.

“One average use” of each garment was analyzed to determine the environmental impact of life cycle phases. Factors that determined each garment’s environmental impact rating included water use, non-renewable energy use, agricultural land occupation, carbon footprint, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication (a form of water pollution), human toxicity, photochemical oxidant formation (secondary air pollutants) and acidification. Each garment’s environmental impact score was scaled up to represent the total Swedish national clothing consumption for 12 months.

According to the study, the average Swedish person’s carbon footprint is 10 tonnes carbon dioxide-equivalents annually. Overall, the transition from fashion to total carbon footprint is only 2.5 percent in 2016, but this textile consumption impact needs to be reduced greatly to keep Earth in good shape.

A garment’s lifespan provides helpful insight about improvements needed for sustainable fashion. The study revealed that if the practical lifespan of the average garment was increased by a factor of three, the carbon footprint and water use are reduced by 65 percent and 66 percent. If this were the case, people globally would assist environmental efforts instead of contributing to unnecessary garment waste.

By providing the global population with clothing recycle resources and reducing transportation in the process, the fashion industry will keep our planet clean and also produce sustainable clothing to help, not harm nature.


Recent News

Tommy Hilfiger on Innovation, Instant Gratification and Courting the Instagram Generation

Tommy Hilfiger credits his brand's staying power to tapping into the fountain of youth, whether that means teaming with Gigi Hadid or jumping on nascent AI technology.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Maersk and IBM Forming Blockchain Joint Venture to Digitize Supply Chains and Improve Trade Flow

A.P. Moller - Maersk and IBM said they intend to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Norway’s Move to Ban Fur Farms Brings Praise and Criticism

In a move that was both political and a recognition that fur has fallen out of fashion even in a nation that was once the world’s top producer of fox pelts, Norway’s government has decided to phase out fur farms by 2025.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

See How Walmart is Positioning to Move at the Speed of Innovation

Despite its smaller, nimbler competitors, Walmart is determined to be a disruptor in this new retail landscape and its technology incubator Store No. 8 is leading the charge.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

5 Trends Taking Over the Latin American Footwear Market for Fall ’18

As Brazil continues to emerge from its economic crisis and shoppers are starting to spend again, women’s fashion footwear trends are channeling some of that same cautious but confident energy.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more