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Consumption patterns of construction workwear and circular strategies to prolong its lifetime
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5259-8137
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8951-9500
2023 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS 5th Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference / [ed] Niinimäki, Kirsi; Cura, Kirsti, Espoo, Finland, 2023, p. 474-479Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Sustainable development
Environmental work
Abstract [en]

The textile industry is characterized by unsustainable consumption patterns so circular strategies are being implemented to reduce consumption and waste. Workwear is a significant part of the textile industry but has received little attention from the research community. The aim is to describe the consumption patterns of a specific segment of the workwear industry i.e., construction workwear and explore circular strategies that prolong its lifetime. Data is collected through two sets of interviews, one with construction companies and one with companies in workwear industry and analyzed based on seven circular strategies: Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish and Remanufacture. The research is conducted in Sweden where employers usually provide clothes to employees. Concerning consumption patterns, the main finding is that workwear is usually discarded due to physical defects to the product, but workwear might also lose aesthetic and comfort value. Most construction workers wash their workwear at home, but some never wash items e.g., work trousers. The most promising circular strategy for construction workwear is repair, however, it is not commonplace. Therefore, construction companies need to set up easy-to-use processes and incentivize workers to send their clothes to repair. The lifetime of clothes has already been prolonged due to design changes in recent years and there is potential for more design improvements that can facilitate various circular strategies. Some infrequent fast fashion tendencies were noted, that should be addressed through policy and other measures. This study demonstrates that the workwear industry cannot be considered a homogeneous market, because different conditions that influence circular strategies apply to different segments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Espoo, Finland, 2023. p. 474-479
Series
Aalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE, 3/2023, E-ISSN 1799-4861
Keywords [en]
Circular business model; Textile industry; Overconsumption; Circular strategy; Uniforms.
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-198066ISBN: 9789526413679 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-198066DiVA, id: diva2:1799786
Conference
5th Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE), Espoo, Finland, 31 May – 2 June 2023
Projects
Cirkulära arbetskläder i bygg och industry
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 52057-1Swedish Energy Agency, 52057-1Vinnova, 52057-1Available from: 2023-09-24 Created: 2023-09-24 Last updated: 2023-09-28Bibliographically approved

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