Assessment of the Drivers to Biodiversity Loss in Textile Fibre Production A Case Study of Nudie Jeans’ Supply Chain

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Wickman, Clara
It is well known that textile fibre production has large impacts on the environment. However, the impact on biodiversity from this production remains largely understudied. With biodiversity being lost at alarming rates, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the negative impacts on biodiversity from human activities and how they can be reduced. In this thesis, the impact on biodiversity from textile fibre production was analysed by using the clothing company Nudie Jeans’ supply chain as a case study. Four different fibre production systems were analysed and compared: Turkish organic cotton, Indian organic cotton, conventional cotton and lyocell. The contribution to the five direct drivers of biodiversity loss as identified by IPBES – habitat change, pollution, climate change, overexploitation, and invasive species – were assessed. The contribution to these five drivers were used as indicators for the impact on biodiversity. A model for assessing the impact on biodiversity was created, using the DPSIR framework. Within the framework, life cycle assessment (LCA), interviews and literature searches were used. The LCA was used to assess the contribution to the drivers climate change, land use and pollution. Invasive species was assessed qualitatively through literature. Overexploitation was found not to be relevant for the studied systems and was therefore excluded. The results showed that production of conventional cotton had significantly larger contribution to climate change and pollution compared to the other fibres, which could indicate that it also has the largest impact on biodiversity. For the remaining fibres no clear indication of which fibre could have the largest impact on biodiversity was found. The results suggest that actions to reduce impact on biodiversity loss primarily should be focused on land use, pollution and climate change. However, to establish more precise actions, more research is needed to determine how regional sensitivities affect the contribution to the drivers and the impact on biodiversity, as well as on how the drivers can be weighted.
Biodiversity , drivers to biodiversity , loss , textile fibres , cotton , lyocell , DPSIR , LCA
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