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TURIN / MONTEMURLO – A new life cycle assessment (LCA) into the environmental impacts of wool claims to be the first to highlight and measure the significantly different climate impacts between longer wool fibres (worsted system) and shorter fibres (woollen system).

It found that worsted wool – typically used in the making of tailored garments such as suits – was responsible for 78 – 97kg CO2 eq/kg while shorter fibres used in the processing of woollens resulted in a much lower carbon footprint of 25 – 30 kg CO2 eq/kg.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cleaner Production, was carried out by researchers at the Polytechnic University of Turin and Italian textile company Manteco which also funded the work.

The aim of the research was to split the environmental impacts of 1kg of raw wool among different fibres, because in previous impact studies, woollen and worsted fibres were considered to have exactly the same impact – which this study found is not the case.

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