Opportunities and challenges of new product development and testing for longevity in clothing

Claxton, S, Cooper, T ORCID: 0000-0001-8623-2918, Hill, C and Holbrook, K, 2015. Opportunities and challenges of new product development and testing for longevity in clothing. In: Cooper, T ORCID: 0000-0001-8623-2918, Braithwaite, N ORCID: 0000-0001-6424-8919, Moreno, M and Salvia, G, eds., Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) Conference proceedings, [Nottingham Trent University], Nottingham, 17-19 June 2015. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE, pp. 62-68. ISBN 9780957600997

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Abstract

Many types of clothing are now seen as disposable by consumers in the UK even though durability is among the top criteria that consumers claim to use when buying garments (WRAP, 2012). Routine tests for clothing performance carried out by retailers are generally designed to ensure garments are 'fit for purpose', not to establish durability or longevity. Designing clothing that lasts longer is, however, key to reducing waste and has become a government policy objective (Defra, 2011).
This paper discusses the findings from a recent research project, carried out for WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), that investigated the opportunities for measuring, specifying and communicating aspects of clothing longevity within a Longevity Protocol. The Protocol is intended to enable retailers to obtain a reliable indication of garment life expectancy and was piloted in conjunction with clothing industry practitioners. It incorporates recommendations for best practice in product development and a testing regime that provides an indication of garment life expectancy (WRAP, 2014).
Overall, the findings from the pilot suggest that it is possible to test for garment longevity, however, this
process can be drawn-out and may not fit easily into the normal product development process. Furthermore, variations in consumer wearing patterns and laundering make it difficult for retailers to guarantee and communicate product lifetimes in absolute terms.
The research adds to a growing body of evidence that supports the concept of design for clothing longevity. The findings will help to inform strategies for the implementation of government policy on sustainable clothing, but point to the need for refined testing processes to support this agenda.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Claxton, S., Cooper, T., Hill, C. and Holbrook, K.
Publisher: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE
Place of Publication: Nottingham
Date: 2015
Rights: [© Nottingham Trent University 2015]., cc Proceedings are under a Creative Common License Number CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Schools > School of Art and Design
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 07 Apr 2016 15:24
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:25
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27454

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