As a tool that can give quantitative answers

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as a tool that can give quantitative answers considering multiple environmental issues along the whole life cycle of alternative products, technologies and man- agement procedures to designers, purchasers and consumers (Roos et al. 2015a ). 5.3 LCA on Industrial Sector Level Roos et al. ( 2016 ) showed how LCA can be used not just for product evaluation but potentially for sector-scale assessments. Some insights from the industry sector perspective highlighted in this chapter are as follows: Previous studies are based on expected technical life length, not statistics of real user behaviour. This strongly in fl uences the relative importance of different life cycle phases. The importance of laundry practices (e.g. washing temperature) depends on a geographical and demographical context. 38 S. Roos et al.
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In Sweden, the consumption of new clothes is high and the climate impact of electricity is low, rendering the washing temperature a low importance for Sweden (3 % of total life cycle impact). In the USA, the consumption of new clothes is high and the climate impact of electricity is higher, rendering the washing temperature a medium importance for USA (27 % of total life cycle impact). In China, the consumption of new clothes is moderate and the climate impact of electricity is high, rendering the washing temperature a high importance for China (68 75 % of total life cycle impact). Consumer transport might be more important than what has previously been understood, and this must be considered when developing, e.g., clothing libraries and other sharing economy business models. To be able to evaluate the potential of interventions, and the need for more radical system changes, we need to know how far the clothing industry is from sustainability in environmental and social terms. The planetary boundaries framework can be used to increase this under- standing a procedure for this is described in this chapter but not yet for all the relevant LCA impact categories. Also, evaluating sustainability in absolute terms requires value-based decision on how to allocate allowed impact space between industry sectors and nations. Among others, the proposed procedure indicates that to respect the planetary boundaries, the climate impact and non-renewable energy use of the clothing sector must be eliminated by 2050 and that freshwater eutrophication must be reduced by about 67 74 % in China, 82 86 % in Sweden and 86 89 % in the USA. Studying the climate bene fi ts of 10 interventions aimed at impact reduction showed that prolonging garment service lives and switching to renewable energy use are the most effective interventions. The available SLCA data are on country and economic sector level. Social metrics need thus to be re fi ned in order to measure the in fl uence of company level interventions on reaching the targets.
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  • Fall '19
  • Sustainable fashion, Sandra Roos

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