The lifecycle of a T-shirt – an eco assessment

The study „The lifecycle of a T-shirt – an eco assessment” by the Technical University Berlin describes the possible environmental impacts of the lifecycle of a white T-shirt – ranging from cotton cultivation and T-shirt manufacture to 44 x washing & drying and disposal. This study was mandated by the IKW (German cosmetic, toiletry, perfumery and detergent association) and high-lights this: Cotton production and T-shirt manufacture decisively determine most of the examined possible effects on the environment, e.g. land use, freshwater use, abiotic resource depletion potential as well as negative effects on waters and their organisms.

The manufacture of the T-shirt and its use phase – i.e. washing & drying of the T-shirt – have a relevant influence on the global warming potential and the water depletion potential. In order to significantly reduce the environmental impacts of washing & drying in private households, the following applies: wash at low temperatures, precisely dose the detergent, load the washing machine to full capacity, and dry laundry outdoors.


A summary of the most important key messages of the study can be downloaded here.

The complete report on the study by the Technical University Berlin can be found here (available only in German).

Tips for environmentally sound laundry care can be found here.

Here you will find information on this study in German.

 

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