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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Master's Group Project
(2023)

Hotspot Analysis of, and Recommendations to Reduce, the Cradle-to-Gate Chemical Impacts on Human Health and Water for MATE the Label’s Organic Cotton, Tencel Lyocell, Linen and Spandex Fabrics

cotton growing in a field, with bright blue skies and clouds

Description

Apparel is one of the world’s most environmentally impactful industries, contributing significantly to global carbon emissions, wastewater, and solid waste disposal. Demand for clothing continues on an upward trajectory, largely driven by the rise of fast fashion. Consequently, the environmental, health, and social impacts of the apparel industry continue to grow. The full extent of these impacts is poorly understood due to limited publicly available research and data. This project will enhance existing research by examining the supply chain of an organic essentials company, MATE the Label, to identify chemical hotspots that pose high human health and ecological impacts. A robust literature review spanning industry and scientific publications, cross-referenced with MATE’s existing life-cycle assessments and supply chain data, will provide the basis of a comparative assessment and impact ranking of MATE’s four fabrics—organic cotton, TENCELTM Lyocell, linen, and spandex—with conventional cotton and polyester. This project will identify opportunities for MATE to reduce its impacts and will contribute to the essential growth of research around sustainable apparel and fiber manufacturing.

Client Contact: Tyler Cobian

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