Sustainable production and consumption consist of using goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life without jeopardizing the needs of future generations. Over the last decades, this has become a topic of increasing importance for companies and consumers. Consequently, from one side methods and tools to assess and quantitatively measure the environmental burden of products and processes arose; from the other side, more and more consumers have raised their sensitivity concerning sustainability. However, consumer perceptions and objective data need to be aligned. The present paper addresses the topic of the discrepancy between the environmental sustainability of product lifecycles as perceived by consumers and actual results obtained with well-known and accepted methods and tools. The paper quantifies through Life Cycle Assessment the environmental burdens of three products for the textiles/apparel sector, particularly swimming sport: a pair of goggles, a pair of swimming pool slippers and a swimsuit. Those were subsequently compared with 102 responses to a questionnaire about environmental sustainability. The comparison was made between the qualitative expectation of the customers and the results of the Life Cycle Assessment for the Climate Change impact category, due to the higher awareness and sensitivity of the customers for this indicator, than others. Respondents belong to three distinguished groups: scholars, employees and students. According to the analysis of obtained results and discrepancies, three main recommendations are outlined by the authors to improve the environmental sustainability of apparel products: the need to promote the development of software tools and databases to support the integration of sustainability into products design; training on products sustainability in the academic world must be encouraged in order to provide future designers/product managers with the tools needed to cope with actual challenges; and consumers should be adequately informed.
Comparison between LCA results and consumers-perceived environmental sustainability of three swimming products / Cappelletti, F.; Menghi, R.; Rossi, M.; Germani, M.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON INTERACTIVE DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING. - ISSN 1955-2513. - (2023). [10.1007/s12008-023-01284-x]