LCA benchmarking study on textiles made of cotton, polyester, nylon, acryl, or elastane
Natascha M. van der Velden & Martin K. Patel & Joost G. Vogtländer INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT 19(2): 331-356.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an improved (up-to-date) insight into the environmental burden of textiles made of the base materials cotton, polyester (PET), nylon, acryl, and elastane. The research question is: Which base material and which life cycle stage (cradle-to-gate as well as cradle-to-grave) have the biggest impact on the environment? Methods Life cycle inventory (LCI) data are collected from the literature, life cycle assessment (LCA) databases, and emission registration database of the Dutch government, as well as communications with both manufacturing companies of production equipment and textile companies. The output of the calculations is presented in four single indicators: Eco- costs 2012 (a prevention-based indicator), CO2 equivalent (carbon footprint), cumulative energy demand (CED), and Recipe (a damage-based indicator).