Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of second-hand vs new clothing banner

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GreenStory

April 14, 2021


Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of second-hand vs new clothing


The United States is the world’s largest apparel consumer market as of 2018, and the apparel industry ranks as having one of the most impact on the environment, both in terms of carbon footprint and water footprint. The shift to a circular economy is crucial to reduce the impact of the apparel industry. As the world’s largest online second-hand clothing store, ThredUP is a company that’s helping change consumer attitudes towards the second-hand, and consequently could reduce the apparel industry’s environmental impact. By using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodologies, it’s possible to objectively estimate what the impact of this could be. LCA methodology is a widely used tool to quantify the environmental burden of a product during every phase of its lifecycle. It allows objective and scientific evaluation of the resource requirements of a product and its potential impact on the environment. Green Story carried out a comprehensive LCA study for ThredUP following the ISO 14040 (1) and ISO 14044 (2) guidelines to quantify the environmental savings when consumers switch from buying newly manufactured clothes to buying second-hand clothes from ThredUP.

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