Environmental Benchmark for Fibres

Why has MADE-BY developed this Benchmark?
With the aim of guiding designers and production managers to choose sustainable alternatives to materials currently widely used, MADE-BY has created a benchmark that compares the environmental impact of the most commonly used fibres in the garment manufacturing industry.

By looking at the production process of natural and man-made fibres and what human and environmental impact they have, MADE-BY has ranked 28 fibres into five classifications based on six parameters. This benchmark is updated on an annual basis in order to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and technologies in the market.

The parameters have been given different weights in terms of impact. Green house gas emissions, the level of human toxicity and the level of eco-toxicity involved in the fibre production all have a weight of 20% each, whereas the total energy and water input needed and the land use required in the fibre production have been given a 13.33% weight each, due to the difficulty in measuring these impacts directly.

Based on these parameters, each fibre was scored and placed into one of five classifications: Class A to Class E. An additional category, ‘Unclassified’, has been added, in which fibres that are not (yet) part of this benchmark are listed due to a lack of available robust data. Over time, MADE-BY aims to incorporate these fibres into one of the five defined classes as further information becomes available.

2013 Updates 
The Benchmark has been updated to include three fibres; CRAiLAR Flax, Monocel (Bamboo Lyocell), and Spandex (Elastane). In 2014, MADE-BY will complete a methodological and full data update of the Environmental Benchmark for Fibres in partnership with an expert steering committee.

Download RESEARCH pdf


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