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European Commission releases report on environmental impact of fashion

The European Commission has released a new report that guides industry leaders on lessening the environmental impact of apparel production. The methodology covered in the report includes both the myriad processes required to bring a T-shirt to market including material production, spinning, printing, finishing, packaging, transportation, electricity generation, along with the standard use cycles employed by consumers such as washing, drying, ironing.

The study is part of a wider series of environmental-footprint pilots, known as Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR), designed to communicate the life-cycle environmental performance of popular products to business partners, consumers and other stakeholders using detailed and comprehensive technical guidance.

This specific PEFCR defined T-shirt as any apparel product, fit to dress the upper body that mainly consists of a tubular- or circular-knit fabric without a full-length opening. Items in the study included athletic T-shirts, singlets and other vests, polo shirts and T-shirts with short, long or no sleeves for men, women, children and babies.

Stakeholders consulted for the project included the Belgian Federal Public Service for Health & Environment, the Business Environmental Performance Initiative, the Cotton Research & Development Corporation, the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of the Republic of Italy, Euratex, the European arm of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Hugo Boss, Nike, Inditex and Lenzing.


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