The Reliability of Digital Labels Measuring Garment Durability Leads to Positive Consumer Attitudes

The Consortium for Sustainability published on Wednesday April 28 the WearEver Project: Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Digital Labels to Measure Garment Usage report in collaboration with Arizona State University, North Carolina State University and U of A.The report follows the 2019-2020 pilot project, called Project WearEver, which concluded the following conclusions:

  • Digital labels can measure the frequency and duration of use of clothing with reasonable reliability.
  • Attitudes of participants towards this idea were more positive after the trial study than before.
  • There are still many practical constraints before this idea can be extended more widely.

The aim of the TSC project is to demonstrate the feasibility of using digital technology to track clothing usage and identify appropriate measurements and measurement protocols to enable communication between stakeholders. The project was designed to help create a market-based system that would inspire clothing manufacturers to make clothing that is used more frequently, used longer, and reused. In addition, TSC has sought to inspire retailers and encourage consumers to show their preference for clothing that has superior emotional and physical utility and durability.

Adidas, KJUS and Prana / Renewal Workshop donated clothing for the research pilot. The technology covered in the report includes QR tags, RFID tags, Bluetooth sensors, and phone applications.

“While fast fashion still has a lot of followers, the slow fashion movement is gaining momentum with consumers – they are looking for value not only in terms of cost, but also cost per use,” said Kevin Dooley, Chief Scientist at TSC. “TSC wants to help build a system where consumers and retailers can compare brands on reliable longevity and use the data to create market demand for more durable clothing.”

In 2019, global clothing sales were estimated at $ 1.87 trillion, but challenges remain in the clothing industry to reduce the impact of clothing production on people and the planet. Sustainable, reused or recycled clothing reduces sustainability issues which include water and air pollution, unsafe working conditions and child labor. The report launches efforts to create a path for consumers to understand the sustainability of brands’ clothing and create continuous communication between brands, retailers and consumers.

Karen Leonas, professor of textiles and clothing, technology and management at North Carolina State University, said, “Clothing, production and distribution are generally very resource intensive, requiring large amounts of water, energy, chemicals, labor and other natural resources while polluting waterways, air and solid waste The majority of textiles can be recycled, reducing many of these demands on natural resources.

“However, in order to do this, several things are crucial. It is fundamental to educate and encourage consumers on other disposal methods. However, once disposed of, for efficient handling through recycling and creation new products, content and production processes used in the first clothing creation is needed. This technology will help increase knowledge throughout the supply chain for manufacturers, consumers and recyclers. “

This free report is available for download here. These sponsors and partners provided significant financial or other support in the process: Blue Bite, Cisco, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service and Stuffstr. TSC translates the best science of sustainability into business tools that are used around the world to create more sustainable consumer products.


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