Publications

Below you can find all our research publications sorted by date. Click on the buttons below to find the theme that you are interested in.

Product lifetime in European and Norwegian policies

The objective in this report is to better understand how the increased product lifetime option has been positioned in policies over the past twenty years. By means of policy document analysis, we explore product lifetime positioning in the EU’s circular economy policies, Norwegian political party programs and official documents, environmental NGO documents, consumer organisation policies…

Continue Reading Product lifetime in European and Norwegian policies

WOOLUME: Mapping the market for acoustic and sound absorbing products made of wool

This report is the first deliverable from work package 2 of the WOOLUME project. The main goal of WOOLUME is to explore different ways of using wool from Polish Mountain Sheep to achieve better utilisation of resources and value creation. The aim of the report has been to map the market for acoustic and sound…

Continue Reading WOOLUME: Mapping the market for acoustic and sound absorbing products made of wool

Durable or cheap? Parents’ acquisition of children’s clothing

Parents are faced with a plurality of choices and concerns when it comes to the acquisition of clothing for their children. This paper explores how parents employ longevity in consumption of children’s clothing from a practice-oriented perspective. The material consists of 6 focus groups with 40 parents who have at least one child under the…

Continue Reading Durable or cheap? Parents’ acquisition of children’s clothing

Consumer practices for extending the social lifetimes of sofas and clothing

Consumers play an essential role in efforts to extend product lifetimes (PL) and consumers’ practices can determine how long and active lives products get. Applying the framework of Social Practice Theory, this paper argues that in order to suggest changes to how consumers can contribute to longer product lifespans, research needs to focus on consumer…

Continue Reading Consumer practices for extending the social lifetimes of sofas and clothing

Reducing environmental impacts from garments through best practice garment use and care, using the example of a Merino wool sweater

Garment production and use generate substantial environmental impacts, and the care and use are key determinants of cradle-to-grave impacts. The present study investigated the potential to reduce environmental impacts by applying best practices for garment care combined with increased garment use. A wool sweater is used as an example because wool garments have particular attributes…

Continue Reading Reducing environmental impacts from garments through best practice garment use and care, using the example of a Merino wool sweater

Increasing repair of household appliances, mobile phones and clothing: Experiences from consumers and the repair industry

Increasing product lifespans is one of the most effective environmental strategies and therefore repair is a part of the circular economy approach that aims to keep products and materials longer in use. This article explores drivers and barriers for repair from consumers’ and commercial repair actors view-points, in order to understand how the repair rates…

Continue Reading Increasing repair of household appliances, mobile phones and clothing: Experiences from consumers and the repair industry

Global differences in consumer practices affect clothing lifespans

Most studies of clothing and related habits are carried out within a country. However, apparel production and sales are a highly globalized industry, with many of the same large chains operating worldwide. It is thus quite possible that the use of the same mass-produced clothing differs between various geographical areas. Based on a practice theoretical…

Continue Reading Global differences in consumer practices affect clothing lifespans

What Affects Garment Lifespans? International Clothing Practices Based on a Wardrobe Survey in China, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the USA

Increasing the length of clothing lifespans is crucial for reducing the total environmental impacts. This article discusses which factors contribute to the length of garment lifespans by studying how long garments are used, how many times they are worn, and by how many users. The analysis is based on quantitative wardrobe survey data from China,…

Continue Reading What Affects Garment Lifespans? International Clothing Practices Based on a Wardrobe Survey in China, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the USA

Laundry Care Regimes: Do the Practices of Keeping Clothes Clean Have Different Environmental Impacts Based on the Fibre Content?

Clothing maintenance is necessary for keeping clothing and textiles functional and socially acceptable, but it has environmental consequences due to the use of energy, water and chemicals. This article discusses whether clothes made of different materials are cleaned in different ways and have different environmental impacts. It fills a knowledge gap needed in environmental assessments…

Continue Reading Laundry Care Regimes: Do the Practices of Keeping Clothes Clean Have Different Environmental Impacts Based on the Fibre Content?

Environmental impacts associated with the production, use, and end-of-life of a woollen garment

The textiles industry is a substantial contributor to environmental impacts through the production, processing, use, and end-of-life of garments. Wool is a high value, natural, and renewable fibre that is used to produce a wide range of garments, from active leisure wear to formal wear, and represents a small segment of the global fashion industry.…

Continue Reading Environmental impacts associated with the production, use, and end-of-life of a woollen garment

Uniformity Without Uniforms: Dressing School Children in Norway

This chapter discusses the relationship between Norwegian schools’ ideals of equality and the way in which school clothes are regulated. Interviews with a teacher in a transitional language learning group for newly arrived immigrant children, as well as with children and parents in immigrant families, are used to discuss whether school clothes inhibit or promote…

Continue Reading Uniformity Without Uniforms: Dressing School Children in Norway

Dressing a Demanding Body to Fit In: Clean and Decent with Ostomy or Chronic Skin Disease

This article discusses what kind of strategies people with a stoma or various chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis oratopic dermatitis, use to find clothes that fit and enable them to fit in. Based on qualitative interviews in Norway, we study how they manage to dress with a demanding body, a poor market and limited…

Continue Reading Dressing a Demanding Body to Fit In: Clean and Decent with Ostomy or Chronic Skin Disease

Microfibres from apparel and home textiles: Prospects for including microplastics in environmental sustainability assessment

Textiles release fibres to the environment during production, use, and at end-of-life disposal. Approximately two-thirds of all textile items are now synthetic, dominated by petroleum-based organic polymers such as polyester,polyamide and acrylic. Plastic microfibres (b5 mm) and nanofibres (b100 nm) have been identified in ecosystems in all regions of the globe and have been estimated…

Continue Reading Microfibres from apparel and home textiles: Prospects for including microplastics in environmental sustainability assessment

Care and production of clothing in Norwegian homes: Environmental implications of mending and making practices

Mending, re-design, and altering are alternatives for prolonging the use period of clothing. It is a common assumption that nobody mends clothing anymore in Western societies. This paper studies Norwegian consumers’ clothing mending and making practices. We ask how common the different mending and making activities are, has this changed during the past several years,…

Continue Reading Care and production of clothing in Norwegian homes: Environmental implications of mending and making practices

Does Use Matter? Comparison of Environmental Impacts of Clothing Based on Fiber Type

Several tools have been developed to compare the environmental impact of textiles. The most widely used are Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) and MADE-BY Fiber Benchmark. They use data from production to evaluate the environmental impacts of textiles differentiated by fiber type. The use phase is excluded from both tools. This article discusses whether there…

Continue Reading Does Use Matter? Comparison of Environmental Impacts of Clothing Based on Fiber Type

Nisseluelandet—The Impact of Local Clothes for the Survival of a Textile Industry in Norway

The article discusses the importance of local clothing for the survival of the Norwegian textile industry. It draws upon stakeholder interviews, as well as desktop research. Local clothes are discussed as they are understood by consumers, as knitted sweaters, bunads (Norwegian national costumes), and home-made clothing. The review shows how these products, and especially the…

Continue Reading Nisseluelandet—The Impact of Local Clothes for the Survival of a Textile Industry in Norway

Motivations for and against second-hand clothing acquisition

One of the possibilities consumers have for more sustainable clothing acquisition is to select pre-owned products. This article explores consumers’ motivations for clothing reuse: why they choose or do not choose to acquire second-hand clothing. First, a taxonomy of motivation categories based on previous studies is presented. This demonstrates that similar properties can be used…

Continue Reading Motivations for and against second-hand clothing acquisition

Use phase of apparel: A Literature review for Life Cycle Assessment with focus on wool.

This report presents a literature review of clothing use phase. The purpose is to support improved methodological development for accounting for the use phase in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of apparel. All relevant textile fibres are included in the review. However, the main focus is on wool. We ask whether the use of wool has…

Continue Reading Use phase of apparel: A Literature review for Life Cycle Assessment with focus on wool.

Global laundering practices: Alternatives to machine washing

This article discusses laundering practices around the world including alternative methods such as washing by hand, airing, steaming, and dry-cleaning. These methods, which have received little attention in research, are often more suited to products made of wool, silk or other materials able to be cleaned using gentler techniques than more commonly used fibers such…

Continue Reading Global laundering practices: Alternatives to machine washing

What’s the Problem? Odor-control and the Smell of Sweat in Sportswear

Sport and fitness are increasing in popularity, and so is awareness of body odor. Both are aspects people wish to gain control over, as promised by the marketing of sportswear with odor-controlling properties. This article discusses how the heightened awareness of body odor has developed, and how unpleasant odor varies between textiles made of different…

Continue Reading What’s the Problem? Odor-control and the Smell of Sweat in Sportswear

Wool as an Heirloom: How Natural Fibres Can Reinvent Value in Terms of Money, Life-Span and Love

This paper addresses a main challenge for natural fibres; falling prices and increased focus on quantity versus quality. This is a challenge not only related to economic issues and profit, but is also unsustainable in an environmental perspective and in light of the challenges the textile sector and the world face. The paper uses wool…

Continue Reading Wool as an Heirloom: How Natural Fibres Can Reinvent Value in Terms of Money, Life-Span and Love

Wool you wear it? – woollen garments in Norway and the United Kingdom

This article was developed from the project ‘Valuing Norwegian Wool’ initiated by the Norwegian National Institute for Consumer Research to generate knowledge on how wool can contribute to sustainable textile consumption, and how value creation can be increased in the Norwegian wool industry. The article will compare consumer perceptions, attitudes, practices and knowledge concerning wool…

Continue Reading Wool you wear it? – woollen garments in Norway and the United Kingdom

Deviant bodies and suitable clothes

Suitable clothes are clothes that make the body socially accepted. The theme of this article concerns what people with deviant bodies do when suitable clothes are difficult to find; clothes that make their bodies fit in in everyday social contexts. Based on interviews with Norwegian men and women, the focus is on those people who…

Continue Reading Deviant bodies and suitable clothes

Consumers’ clothing disposal behaviour – a synthesis of research results

Consumer decisions on clothing disposal are important from an environmental point of view, as they have an effect on the lifespan of clothing, as well as the potential for reuse and recycling. This article summarizes what is known about consumers’ clothing disposal behaviour based on empirical literature published during the past 30 years. The goal…

Continue Reading Consumers’ clothing disposal behaviour – a synthesis of research results

Mapping sustainable textiles initiatives: And a potential roadmap for a Nordic actionplan

This report aims to chart a plan for a coordinated Nordic effort towards sustainable development in textiles and identify ongoing initiatives in the area. The aim was an ambitious plan with a potential for significant reductions in environmental pressures, but also green growth. To reach these goals, we staked out four regions a Nordic plan…

Continue Reading Mapping sustainable textiles initiatives: And a potential roadmap for a Nordic actionplan

Making Clothing Last: A Design Approach for Reducing the Environmental Impacts

This article discusses the extent it is possible to delay clothing disposal through improved design, thus reducing negative environmental impacts. This has been done by including user centered design methods into more traditional quantitative consumer research to give new insights for design. Empirical data on reasons for disposal of 620 clothing items from 35 persons…

Continue Reading Making Clothing Last: A Design Approach for Reducing the Environmental Impacts

Clothing disposal habits and consequences for life cycle assessment (LCA)

This chapter discusses the effects of end-of-life scenarios to the life cycle assessment (LCA) calculations. Consumers’ decisions in the disposal phase of clothing are crucial from an environmental point of view, as they affect the lifespan of clothing, as well as the potential for reuse and recycling. In doing this, examples of Norwegian consumers’ clothing…

Continue Reading Clothing disposal habits and consequences for life cycle assessment (LCA)

Patched, Louse-ridden, Tattered: Clean and Dirty Clothes

“Patched, louse-ridden, tattered—clean, beautiful, gem.” As children we recited this rhyme in Norwegian: “Lappete, lusete, fillete—ren, pen, edelsten,” as we picked petal after petal from a daisy. All the words can be understood as descriptions of the child’s future clothes. Clean is the turning point in the rhyme. Clean is thus seen as the first…

Continue Reading Patched, Louse-ridden, Tattered: Clean and Dirty Clothes

Environmentally Sustainable Textile Consumption—What Characterizes the Political Textile Consumers?

The textile and clothing industry is considered as one of the most polluting industries in the world. Still, the regulation of environmental hazards connected to the industry is very limited, and much responsibility is placed on the shoulders of consumers. One of the few ways that ordinary consumers can seek to influence the textile and…

Continue Reading Environmentally Sustainable Textile Consumption—What Characterizes the Political Textile Consumers?

Leisure and sustainable development in Norway: part of the solution and the problem

The article presents the results of two succeeding Norwegian studies on the environmental impacts of leisure consumption. The first study presents data on the total consumption of leisure products and services by Norwegians, showing that leisure consumption increases more than everyday consumption, the most energy-intensive leisure activities increase the most, leisure activities have become more…

Continue Reading Leisure and sustainable development in Norway: part of the solution and the problem

A methodological approach to the materiality of clothing: Wardrobe studies

The material is not just ‘a carrier of different types of symbols, but an active element in the practices. Bringing this to the fore requires new research methods. This article discusses a methodological approach, we call it a wardrobe study, which allows for the analysis of the way in which clothes relate to each other…

Continue Reading A methodological approach to the materiality of clothing: Wardrobe studies

The Rationalisation of Consumption Reasons for Purchasing Outdoor Recreational Outfits

In Norway, there is a broad consensus that experiencing nature and performing physical activities outdoors is healthy, important and typical Norwegian. The Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen’s expression ‘simple outdoor life’ is a great national symbol. In recent years we have seen a rapid technological development of outdoor recreational outfits and a massive increase of the…

Continue Reading The Rationalisation of Consumption Reasons for Purchasing Outdoor Recreational Outfits

Valuing Norwegian Wool

Wool has been called the white gold and has warmed and brought joy to the Norwegian population throughout history. It is also a textile fibre with many unused features. The starting point of the project Valuing Norwegian Wool is a desire to help Norwegian agriculture, wool based industry, and design to exploit the potential inherent…

Continue Reading Valuing Norwegian Wool

Sustainable clothing design: use matters

Many life cycle assessment studies document that the use period is the most resource-demanding phase during the clothing life cycle. In this paper, we discuss how design can help to reduce the environmental impacts of clothing. Motives behind clothing disposal, acquisition practices and maintenance habits are analysed based on two surveys, qualitative interviews of households,…

Continue Reading Sustainable clothing design: use matters

Leisure and sustainable development in Norway: part of the solution and the problem

The article presents the results of two succeeding Norwegian studies on the environmental impacts of leisure consumption. The first study presents data on the total consumption of leisure products and services by Norwegians, showing that leisure consumption increases more than everyday consumption, the most energy-intensive leisure activities increase the most, leisure activities have become more…

Continue Reading Leisure and sustainable development in Norway: part of the solution and the problem

Potential for environmental improvements in laundering

Life cycle assessment studies on clothes, detergents and washing machines show that the use period is usually the most energy-demanding period during these products’ life cycle, even higher than production or transportation phases. Laundering practices are constantly changing and influenced by social, cultural and moral norms. Even though the technologies in clothes cleaning have improved…

Continue Reading Potential for environmental improvements in laundering

Reading Fashion as Age: Teenage Girls’ and Grown Women’s Accounts of Clothing as Body and Social Status

This article discusses the similarities and differences in how women in two different stages of life describe the relationship between fashion and age. The analytical approach is basically discursive, based on Norwegian teenage girls’ and adult women’s verbal accounts of clothing and clothing practices in conversational interviews undertaken in the late 1990s. Prevailing discourses as…

Continue Reading Reading Fashion as Age: Teenage Girls’ and Grown Women’s Accounts of Clothing as Body and Social Status