11 Dec 2021

Measuring impact of textile

Effectieve Life Cycle Analysis

What does a textile product cost in terms of raw materials, energy and water from production to discard? Blycolin measures all these things with a Life Cycle Analysis, or LCA. With that knowledge. we can effectively limit the impact of our products.

When you know how the impact of your product is established, you can try to limit it.Of course we always knew that textile has a major impact on the environment. Natural fibers such as cotton are cultivated, transported, processed into a product and then washed numerous times and – in the case of hotel linen – transported. In cooperation with bAwear, Michel Walstok and Anton Luiken, we can now quantify that. This provides us with data, which in turns gives us more certainty about the impact of our measures. Or, to put it simply: what our efforts yield in terms of sustainability.

Using hotel linen longer and recycling it after discarding is one of our spearheads. When you use a product twice as long, the relative impact of the production is reduced by half. When you make an entirely new product from discarded textile, you also considerably decrease the impact, if you compare it to production based on new raw materials. Besides this, you reduce waste. It is Blycolin’s goal to not produce any textile waste anymore by 2030. We go for 100% recycling.

How do you measure impact?

Every ambitious project can be cut up into smaller portions. Often that’s even a condition to be able to start. For the LCAs, we started with a cradle-to-gate approach, with which we look at the impact of our products from the onset up to the processing into the finished product as we offer it to our customers. This provides many valuable insights, but also a limited view. The impact of a product doesn’t end when a customer starts to use it. On the contrary.

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bAwear

By definition, a cradle-to-gate analysis is incomplete. Much of the impact of a product takes place during its use. In the case of hotel linen, for instance, repeated laundry and transport to and from the laundry creates impact. The processing of a discarded product also has an impact. That is why we have performed a cradle to grave analysis on the argest part of our Blycolin Collection in cooperation with bAwear. This way, we were able to map out the complete impact of a product, from the raw materials to the waste product.

Still, a cradle to grave analysis is by no means perfect.For instance, a number of values are based on experience and index numbers and avergaes were also used. What’s important is that the LCA is yet another step forward, for two reasons. Firstly, it contributes to our transparency and the verification of our sustainability efforts. We like to demonstarte we are very serious about this issue. At the same time, we can also work with the results ourselves. The more we know about the precise impact of our products, the more focused we can work on limiting that.

Would you like to know more about the Life Cycle Analysis in textile and how we apply it? We hope to learn many more about this issue and like to share our knowledge. So please feel free to contact us.