Clothing Lifespans: What Should Be Measuredand How
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKlepp IG, Laitala K, Wiedemann SG. Clothing Lifespans: What Should Be Measuredand How. Sustainability. 2020 https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su12156219
Increasing the use of each product, most often called longer lifespans, is an eﬀective environmental strategy. This article discusses how garment lifespans can be described in order to be measured and compared. It answers two sub-questions: (1) what to measure (units), and (2) how to measure (methods). We introduce and deﬁne terms related to clothing lifespans and contribute to discussions about an appropriate functional unit for garments in life cycle assessments (LCA) and other environmental accounting tools. We use a global wardrobe survey to exemplify the units and methods. Clothing lifespans can be described and measured in years, the number of wears, cleaning cycles, and users. All have an independent value that show diﬀerent and central aspects of clothing lifespans. A functional unit for LCAs should emphasise both the number of wears for all users as well as the service lifespan in years. Number of wears is the best measure for regular clothing, while number of years is most suited for occasion wear, because it is important to account for the need of more garments to cover all the relevant occasions during a speciﬁed time period. It is possible to study lifespan via carefully constructed surveys, providing key data relating to actual garment use.
SeriesSustainability;Volume 12, Issue 15
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).