The fashion industry is responsible for a significant contribution to environmental pressure in the European Union. The present study aims to quantify the environmental impacts of a leather shoe production chain and identify the most criticalities in terms of companies, processes, and materials. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was used to assess the impacts related to the production of a pair of classic man leather shoes. Slaughtering and tanning resulted in the less environmentally sustainable stages for almost all the analysed impact categories, except water resource depletion and ozone layer depletion. Such outcomes are mainly due to the high distance from animals’ skin suppliers to slaughterhouses and tanneries, the use of lorries transport, and the large use of unsustainable chemicals to treat the leather. Going downstream, the main hot spot refers to the use of cotton during upper manufacturing and shoe assembly and finishing. Three alternative realistic production scenarios were simulated to find the best sustainable mix. They focused on alternative means of transport, the substitution of cotton, and green purchasing of upper and lining. An environmental impact reduction of about 30% can be obtained if all the suggested scenarios are implemented.

Life cycle assessment of a leather shoe supply chain

Rossi M.
Primo
;
Papetti A.;Germani M.
2021

Abstract

The fashion industry is responsible for a significant contribution to environmental pressure in the European Union. The present study aims to quantify the environmental impacts of a leather shoe production chain and identify the most criticalities in terms of companies, processes, and materials. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was used to assess the impacts related to the production of a pair of classic man leather shoes. Slaughtering and tanning resulted in the less environmentally sustainable stages for almost all the analysed impact categories, except water resource depletion and ozone layer depletion. Such outcomes are mainly due to the high distance from animals’ skin suppliers to slaughterhouses and tanneries, the use of lorries transport, and the large use of unsustainable chemicals to treat the leather. Going downstream, the main hot spot refers to the use of cotton during upper manufacturing and shoe assembly and finishing. Three alternative realistic production scenarios were simulated to find the best sustainable mix. They focused on alternative means of transport, the substitution of cotton, and green purchasing of upper and lining. An environmental impact reduction of about 30% can be obtained if all the suggested scenarios are implemented.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11566/292085
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