Clearly, life cycle assessment is an essential tool for product sustainability, providing extensive insights and valuable data to everyone in the organization, from product design and R&D, to sourcing and supply chain management and to marketing and PR. It also brings sustainability opportunities to strategic management. However, conducting an LCA study can be a challenging endeavor.
As said in Life cycle assessment (LCA) explained, apparel supply chains are rather complex. For many brands, most products are manufactured in various factories across the globe with a diversified portfolio of fabrics and fibers. To gather data in preparation for an LCA study, brands have to involve all suppliers in the supply chains in order to quantify the environmental input and output of their production processes. This can be time- and resource- consuming. Innovative or alternative materials usually have their own unique manufacturing processes, which are oftentimes proprietary technology. Collecting data on such fibers can cost extra time and effort.
So, what happens when data is missing from your supply chain? For BAM Bamboo Clothing, who partnered up with Green Story, they could rely on Green Story’s database to fill in their data gaps. Merryn Chilcott, Sustainability & Technical Manager of BAM, explained in our talk about supply chain impact data, “Green Story has access to the kind of data that we would never have access to, or it would take us years to get access to. Having this partnership has been so helpful in creating an accurate LCA.”