The aim of this questionnaire is to gain a better understanding of each phase in the product lifecycle of your collection in terms of sustainability. The questionnaire follows the different stages of the PLC. For further reading on these sections please download the 'The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle' PDF document which aims to give a brief overview of each section as well as explain key terms and issues.

We are aware that each brand is different, so please bear in mind that we are only asking you to fill those parts that are relevant to your brand.

Design

During the creation phase of a product, a designer has all the influence and as a result far more responsibility than today’s conscious consumer. In addition, designers are able to change attitudes of consumers, that is why as future designers, you need to involve a sustainability perspective in the process of design and innovation.

Design phase is the overarching process that threads through the decisions related to Raw Materials, Production, Packaging & Transport, Consumer Use and End of Life. Design phase is when decisions are made about all resource flows that have social and environmental impacts which can also have broader economic effects.

As a designer, do you design with Social and Environmental Impacts in mind? For example, your design specifications in the UK can impact communities in remote parts of Asia, or your choices about material weight and packaging can have impacts on transport costs and fuel use and GHG emissions.

To help us understand your design approach, please complete the following questions:

Raw materials

Raw Materials are "natural, unprocessed materials used in a manufacturing process" (NICE, Dictionary) to create fabrics and materials used in the fashion industry. There are many issues to consider when selecting your raw materials. Farming raw materials as well as turning them into fabric for you to use in your collection can have detrimental effects both environmentally and socially.

In order to give us an idea of how sustainable the key fabrics are in your collection please fill in the grid below as shown in the example given in pink italics in the first row.

Fabrics Organic based fabric Recycled Environ-
mental Classification (1)
Fair Trade/ FAIRTRADE Environ-
mental Certification
Pre-
Consumer Waste
Post-
Consumer Waste
Certification
Cotton Yes No No Name of
Certification
Class B Fair Trade GOTS

For definitions of these terms please download ‘The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle’ PDF
(1)Refer to MADE-BY environmental benchmark for fibres in p.6 of 'The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle' PDF

In order to give us an idea of the other components in your collection, please fill in the grid below as shown in the example given in pink italics in the first row.

Other Material Components Organic based fabric Recycled Environ-
mental Classification (1)
Fair Trade/ FAIRTRADE Environ-
mental Certification
Pre-
Consumer Waste
Post-
Consumer Waste
Certification
Trimmings No Yes No None Class B Fair Trade GOTS

(1)Refer to MADE-BY environmental benchmark for fibres in p.6 of 'The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle' PDF

Production

Production processes can have both negative social and environmental impacts however problems can be prevented through knowledge and you as a buyer have some control over setting more sustainable demands.

To give us a better understanding of where your collection is made, please fill in the grid below as shown in the example given in pink italics in the first row.

Production Unit(1) Country Low Risk Country?(2) Certification/
Monitoring System
Social Classification(3) NGO Involvement Fair Trade
India Yes/No SA8000 or ETI Audits A Yes/No Yes/No

(1)Homeworkers, Community groups, Factories, Self/Atelier, CMT
(2)Refer to MADE-BY low risk country policy in p.10 of 'The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle' PDF
(3)Refer to MADE-BY social benchmarks in p.9 of 'The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle' PDF

Packaging & Transport

The packaging and transport phase of the product lifecycle is important from an environmental perspective, and is something that needs to be considered from design stage through to distribution. There are many decisions that can be taken during this stage that can reduce the negative impact the product has on the environment and it is important to be aware of all the issues.

Packaging

To give us an indication of what kind of packaging you use, please fill in the grid below as shown in the example given in pink italics in the first row.

Packing
Materials Used
FSC Certifed Recycled Natural Fibres Biodegradable
Plastic
Garment Bags No No No Yes

For definitions of these terms please download ‘The Sustainable Thread of a Product Lifecycle’ PDF

Transportation

In order for us to have an overview of the geographical layout of your supply chain please fill in the grid below as shown in the example given in pink italics in the first row.

 
Example  
Cotton
COO* Ship Meth
Africa Air
China Air
Italy Rail
UK Air
Germany Sea
Holland Air
Turkey Rail
Spain Sea
Fabric1  
COO* Ship Meth
Fabric2  
COO* Ship Meth
Fabric3  
COO* Ship Meth
Fabric4  
COO* Ship Meth
Fabric5  
COO* Ship Meth
Raw Mate-
rial
 
Raw Mate-
rial
Fabric
CMT
Distrib-
ution
Count-
ries

* COO (Country of Origin)

CONSUMER USE

The impact of the consumer use phase is in some ways out of the brand's control. However a brand can influence the consumer by educating them as well as offering them the right options. The decisions you make in the earlier stages of design, fabric selection and garment construction will also influence the consumer use phase.

In order for us to have a better understanding of the kind of care instructions your product requires, please fill in the grid below as shown in the example given in pink italics in the first row.

Care Instructions (as % of collection)
Dry Clean Washing at 30°c Over 30°c Ironing Tumble Drying Line Drying
30% 50% 20% 70% 0% 70%

End of life

"End of life is defined as when a product is at the end of its functional life" (EcoIndexBeta (2010) End of Life Guideline). A product's life doesn't necessarily have to be linear however, ie, go from product development and manufacture through to consumer use and end there. There are many philosophies, such as Cradle-to-cradle, that focus on a cyclical view, also known as a closed loop system, where at the end of a product's initial life it goes back into a second lifecycle.