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GENEVA – A new report by the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action has raised huge question marks about the fashion industry’s dependence on out of date and unrepresentative LCA data for cotton and polyester. The researchers crunched data from 35 LCA cotton studies and found there is a lack of transparency regarding the background life cycle inventory (LCI) data used to model LCAs while in many cases, “there is also a lack of transparency regarding the methodological assumptions applied while undertaking the LCA.”

“The existing LCA research conducted on cotton fiber production more often reports results as global averages and lacks regionality. For example, databases such as Higg MSI, provide scores for global averages of cotton production,” states the report.

The report adds: “LCA data cannot be used to determine the environmental performance of one cotton type over another and it is inappropriate to compare LCA results across the seven cotton types assessed in this report.”

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