University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > ELCF - Engineering for a Low Carbon Future (seminar series) > Well Dressed? The present and future sustainability of clothing and textiles in the UK

Well Dressed? The present and future sustainability of clothing and textiles in the UK

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Most work to date on ‘sustainability’ has had a strong focus on measurement, and where change is recommended, this is usually expressed through policy, economics and sociology. Practical change that will have a globally significant effect is assumed to emerge from policy and economic incentives. However the UK’s Carbon Trust in aiming at a 60% carbon emissions reduction by 2050 can only identify economically viable change of around 25% of current emissions within the industrial sector. What is required to make a substantial change?

This seminar presents the outcome of a five person-year study conducted at the Institute for Manufacturing on the future supply of clothing and textiles to the UK. The bulk of the work of the project was a scenario analysis of various future means to meet the UKs demand for clothing and textiles. The scenarios were developed with three case study products, and analysed according to the “triple bottom line”, including environmental life cycle costs, calculation of national accounts and prediction of employment changes.

In the seminar we will give an outline of the methodology, present the main findings and describe the ‘ideal consumer’ who would drive change in the sector. We will conclude with a discussion of the barriers to developing ‘ideal consumer’ behaviour and look at means to overcome them.

This talk is part of the ELCF - Engineering for a Low Carbon Future (seminar series) series.

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