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Table 3 Key recommendations to improve the sustainability of polyester garments during the use phase of the value chain

From: Analysis of the polyester clothing value chain to identify key intervention points for sustainability

Issue Goal Measure Action
Resources Phase out fossil fuels as source of energy Incentivize use of renewable energy in the household
Reduce energy consumption Improve machine efficiency
Wash at lower temperatures
Avoid tumble drying when possible
Reduce freshwater consumption Switch to horizontal-axis washing machines
Improve and encourage greywater recycling systems within households or laundry stores
Detergents Produce more sustainable detergents Determine which type of detergent is more sustainable considering:
  Production
  Packaging
  Effects on the environment upon release
  Effects on microfiber release
Microfibers Prevention of microfiber release from clothing Wash at full load to avoid high water volume to garment ratios
Standardization of quantifying methods to facilitate more informative research
Retroactive solutions for microfiber release from clothing Use filters to capture microfibers in washing machines
Develop air filtration systems to remove airborne microfibers indoors
Bioremediation: can enzymes or whole microorganisms be added to agricultural soils to degrade PET without disturbing soil properties or causing other side effects?
  1. Legislation Economic incentive or funding Education or communication