ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Due to the rise in clothing consumption per person and growing consumer awareness of environmental issues with products, the textile industry must adopt new practices for improving sustainability. The current study thoroughly investigates the benefits of using organic cotton fiber instead of conventional cotton fiber. Because of the extensive use of natural resources in the production of cotton, the primary raw material for textiles, which accounts for the environmental effects of a pair of jeans, a life cycle assessment methodology was used to examine these effects in four different scenarios. The additional scenarios were chosen based on the user preferences for washing temperatures, drying methods, and the type of cotton fiber used in the product. The environmental impact categories of global warming potential, eutrophication potential terrestrial ecotoxicity potential, acidification potential, and freshwater ecotoxicity potential were analyzed by the CML-IA method. The life cycle assessment results revealed that the lowest environmental impacts were obtained for scenario 4 with 100% organic cotton fiber with an improvement of 87% in terrestrial ecotoxicity potential and 59% in freshwater ecotoxicity potential. All of the selected environmental impacts of a pair of jeans are reduced in all scenarios when organic cotton is used. Additionally, consumer habits had a significant impact on all impact categories. Using a drying machine instead of a line dryer during the use phase is just as important as the washing temperature. The environmental impact hotspots for a pair of jeans were revealed to be the eutrophication potential, acidification potential, and global warming potential categories during the use phase, and the terrestrial ecotoxicity potential and freshwater ecotoxicity potential categories during the fabric manufacturing including cotton cultivation. The use of organic cotton as a raw material in manufacturing processes, as well as consumer preferences for washing temperature and drying methods, appears to have significant environmental impacts on a pair of jeans' further sustainable life cycle.