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LONDON – More durable clothing is a far better option than textile recycling for cutting global warming potential (GWP) researchers have found. A study team crunched LCA data relating to clothing manufacture, delivery, use, end-of-life processes, and alternative production processes. They found that reducing production, extending the clothing use phase, and a shift to second-hand business models is a far more sustainable option than recycling, which leads to another manufacturing process and associated emissions.

The researchers used LCA modelling to compare the global warming potential (GWP) of five ownership and end-of-life scenarios for creating and using a pair of jeans. The scenarios were basic use with waste disposal, reduced production and extended use, reselling, recycling and sharing (such as rental services).

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