MADE-BY ENVIRONMENTAL BENCHMARK FOR FIBRES

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MADE-BY is a European non-profit, originally founded by Solidaridad, that works to incorporate sustainability into fashion. They support their brand partners with sustainable strategies, tools, and processes to help improve environmental and social conditions across supply chains and to enhance transparency to stakeholders.

MADE-BY approached Brown and Wilmanns Environmental to develop an Environmental Benchmark for Fibres that would guide designers and production managers towards environmentally preferable materials among the most commonly used fibers (both biological and synthetic origin) in the garment manufacturing industry. We evaluated production processes along the supply chain, from farm or wellhead to fibers ready to spin into yarn. The resulting benchmark included six parameters: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, human toxicity, eco-toxicity, energy, water, and land use. Using values created by MADE-BY, the first three parameters are weighted at 20 percent each while the latter three are weighted at 13.33 percent each.

For the included textile fibers, we identified publicly available data from more than 150 literature sources to determine world averages for each parameter. Where world data were not available, we used regional and (in some cases) supply-chain-specific data. We normalized the data to 1 kg of fiber, rank-ordered each fiber by parameter, and then grouped the results of each parameter into three classes (Good, Neutral, Bad). The five individual parameter classes for each fiber were weighted and combined to create a single numeric score. We rank-ordered the resulting scores into five groups (Classes A through E) with Class A being the most preferable and Class E the least. Currently, 25 fibers are listed in the benchmark, with an additional group of identified fibers that will be scored and incorporated into the five classes when sufficient data are available. Brown and Wilmanns Environmental continues to work with MADE-BY to ensure that regular updates are completed in a timely and accurate manner.

More than 25 partner brands use the MADE-BY Environmental Benchmark for Fibres, with additional brands using the benchmark informally. Brown and Wilmanns Environmental’s work in developing and updating the benchmark has enhanced MADE-BY’s reputation with fashion brands as a source of credible information in their efforts to improve sustainability performance.

For more information about Brown and Wilmanns Environmental’s work with MADE-BY, please contact us at info@bw-environmental.com.

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