Authors: Ingun Grimstad Klepp and Kerli Kant Hvass
Among sustainable fashion and textile themes, product durability has recently come into focus within EU policy making. The dominant understanding is that increased textile lifespan will reduce environmental impacts, but this intrinsic link is not supported by research. The volume of clothing produced poses the greatest environmental burdens. Increased clothes availability leads to longer lifespan due to reduced utilization. To reduce the environmental impact of increased textile volumes measures should be expanded to encompass not only product design, life-prolonging, and end-of-life strategies, but also the volume of products to market. This concept paper contributes to the debate on how to address the growing amount of textile waste by applying the knowledge gained from consumer research regarding clothing use and proposing a regulatory measure called Targeted Producer Responsibility (TPR). The central method of TPR is waste analyses which relies on actual use – or non-use – of products as the starting point for eco-modulated fees. TPR reverses EPR and uses waste for overproduction knowledge, thus proposing a tool that can potentially reduce the total environmental impact of textiles.