University of Limerick
Piippo_and_Niinimaki_2021_Garment_quality_and_product_lifetimes.pdf (201.23 kB)

Garment quality and product lifetimes

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conference contribution
posted on 2021-06-17, 20:40 authored by Riikka Piippo, Kirsi Niinimäki
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industrial sectors in the world and its environmental impacts are enormous. Garments are produced effectively, sold for a low price, have low quality, and are used for a very short time before ending up in growing textile waste streams. One critical aspect in the sustainability context is the lifespan of garments. Short garment lifespans are the result of low quality, rapidly changing trends and consumer dissatisfaction, which leads to early disposal. This study focused on the issue of garment quality and how it can be connected to product lifetime. The research was based on a case study approach, including company interviews. It examined the companies’ work on quality and aimed to make the ways in which quality impacts product lifetimes visible. The data were analysed in accordance with the principles of descriptive analysis and the discussion was further applied to the circular economy context. Five main themes were identified from the data: product and material quality, lifespan quality, quality of responsibility, quality of service, and operational quality. Garment quality is an important factor, even in a circular economy context. Technical quality can extend the use time of a garment and even enhance the circularity of materials in the waste phase. High quality allows the products and materials to circulate in the system for a longer time. Quality is still important at the end of a product’s lifespan, as high quality waste material is easier to up-cycle into new fibres. We bring the quality discussion to a new level by also examining lifetime quality in a CE context.


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4th PLATE 2021 Virtual Conference, 26-28 May 2021;



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Academy of Finland



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