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From speed to volume: reframing clothing production and consumption for an environmentally sound apparel sector

Maldini, Irene

The article highlights the limitations of speed as a framework for discussing and tackling the environmental challenges of growing clothing volumes or quantities. This argument builds on a series of wardrobe studies mapping the number of clothing items owned, purchased, and disposed of by 25 people during six months, and the reasons behind purchase and disposal. The results indicate that clothing consumption is rarely driven by replacement and that opportunity plays a main role. These characteristics of clothing consumption explain why it takes more than producing long-lasting garments to reduce clothing demand. Rather than delaying the disposal of garments, a more straight-forward focus on reducing production is needed, that is the contribution of a volume-centric approach.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9