Electronic textile reparability

Hardy, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-6028-7555, Wickenden, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-2573-349X and McLaren, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-9909-5403, 2020. Electronic textile reparability. Journal of Cleaner Production: 124328. ISSN 0959-6526

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The market for electronic textiles is predicted to expand rapidly, with great benefits expected from some products, at the same time as creating large and challenging waste stream. The amalgamation of electronics with textiles can lead to shortened product lifetimes, as breakage of either the electronics or textile components can lead to product failure. Reparability is therefore crucial, extending electronic textile lifetimes and decreasing the overall volume of waste produced.

Three commercially available electronic textile garments were examined. The assessment revealed varying degrees of reparability, from batteries that could not be replaced to fully rechargeable and removable components. Standard clothing care processes, such as washing and ironing, could limit maintenance and cause irreversible damage to electronic components.

Running counter to the design and engineering objective of full integration between textile and electronics, a modular approach to electronic textiles, where electronics are held in pockets rather than integrated into textile structures, should be reconsidered to prolong product lifetime by enabling maintenance and repair. Labelling could inform users about appropriate care of the electronics within electronic textiles, but presence of electronics was not always mentioned. The findings of this study provide rich descriptive data about the reparability of products in a rapidly growing market.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Cleaner Production
Creators: Hardy, D., Wickenden, R. and McLaren, A.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 21 September 2020
ISSN: 0959-6526
S0959652620343730Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Sep 2020 15:18
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 03:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40913

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