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Exploration of the feasibility and implication of introducing bioplastic to the clothing industry: Towards circular fashion

Shadkam, Saba (2023) Exploration of the feasibility and implication of introducing bioplastic to the clothing industry: Towards circular fashion.

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Abstract:The textile industry is one of the largest industries worldwide, facing significant challenges due to its adverse environmental impacts, including high greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and waste generation. This study focuses on the potential of bioplastics as a sustainable solution to promote circularity in the clothing industry. Bioplastics, derived from renewable resources or agri-food waste could reduce environmental harm caused by traditional plastics. However, their successful integration into the clothing market depends on various drivers and barriers. This research aims to identify the significant factors influencing the development and commercialization of bioplastic applications in the clothing industry, along with analyzing the social readiness for sustainable clothing. The study employs a qualitative and quantitative research methodology, including interviews, surveys, and literature review. The technical factors, encompassing bioplastic properties, available resources, and technology, play a crucial role in the development of bioplastics applications. Overcoming technical barriers requires addressing issues such as production infrastructure and scaling. Economic factors, including production costs, market demand, and raw material prices, also influence the adoption of bioplastics in the clothing industry. Strategies like price contracting and incentives from public authorities are recommended to facilitate the commercialization process. The social acceptance of bioplastic- based clothing is investigated through social readiness framework, revealing consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for sustainable materials and extend the lifespan of their clothes to reduce waste. However, fashion trends remain a key consideration. Building trust in sustainable clothing technologies can be achieved through open access to life cycle assessment reports, enabling consumers to track the environmental impact of their apparel. The study findings demonstrate that bioplastics have the potential to contribute to circularity in the clothing industry. However, further research and development are necessary to overcome technological barriers. The willingness of consumers to embrace sustainable clothing options and their willingness to pay a premium provide opportunities for the successful commercialization of bioplastics. Enhancing social awareness of the environmental impacts of the clothing industry and promoting sustainable clothing technologies are essential to prepare society for the transition to sustainable clothing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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