This study presents the environmental impact of apparel consumption in Australia using life cycle assessment methodology according to ISO14040/14044:2006. Available published references, the Ecoinvent v3 dataset, the Australian life cycle assessment dataset and apparel country-wise import data with the breakdown of apparel type and fibre type were used in this study. The environmental impact assessment results of the functional unit were scaled up to the total apparel consumption. The impact results were also normalized on a per-capita/year basis. The Total Climate Change Potential (CCP) impact from apparel consumption of 2015 was estimated to be 16 607 028 tonnes CO2eq and 698.07 kg CO2eq/per capita-year. This study also assessed the impact of acidification potential (AP), water depletion (WD), abiotic resource depletion potential (ADP) - fossil fuel and agricultural land occupation (ALO) using the same methodology. The market volume of cotton apparel in Australia is 53.97 %, which accounts for 45 %, 96 %, 40 %, 46 % and 79 % of total CCP, WD, ADP, AP and ALO impact, respectively. Apparel broad categories of cotton shirt, cotton trouser, polyester shirt and polyester trouser have a high volume in the apparel market as well as a high environmental impact contribution. These high-volume apparel products can be included in the prioritization list to reduce environmental impact throughout the apparel supply chain. It was estimated that from 2010 to 2018 the per capita apparel consumption and corresponding impact increased by 24 %.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other