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Environmental impact of apparel supply chain and textile products

Abstract

Textiles products have high environmental impact compared to other products. Numerous studies have been performed on the environmental impact of various textile products and production-related activities with the aim to reduce the impact from textile supply chain. This report reviewed some existing studies on the environmental impact throughout the textile supply chain. It provides the background, practices and knowledge gaps in respect of the environmental implications of specific textile products as well as their supply chain. The literature generally confirms that the textile production stage and use stage contribute the highest impact for different impact categories. The recommendations for future work derived from this study include evaluation of the environmental impact of fibre mixing, environmental impact of various recycling/reuse options compared to landfill and environmental impact of technical/smart textile products. Investigation of the environmental impact and economic feasibility of different recycling options compared to the landfill option is a significant area of research which is involved in the policy development to increase circularity of textile waste. Analysis of the environmental impact of textile consumption and disposal using life cycle assessment in respect of different geographical location is also another future investigative topic to develop a model of sustainable supply chain. This life cycle model is also important for guiding stakeholders in how to continue the growth of the apparel sector sustainably.

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Acknowledgement

The study has been supported by the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) and Research Stipend Scholarship.

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Correspondence to Shadia Moazzem or Lijing Wang.

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Moazzem, S., Crossin, E., Daver, F. et al. Environmental impact of apparel supply chain and textile products. Environ Dev Sustain (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-021-01873-4

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Keywords

  • Textile product
  • Environmental impact
  • Impact categories
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Sustainability
  • Waste management