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Italian jacket beats Chinese rival on environmental cost, companies claim

Fibre manufacturer Radici Group, fabric producer Eurojersey and apparel brand Herno have worked in partnership to produce a full report on the environmental footprint of a jacket.

They certified and tracked the environmental impact of a Herno men’s jacket at all stages of production and have used the information to apply a ‘Made Green in Italy’ label to the garment. Since the end of 2015, the Italian government has had legislation in place to promote a greener economy with the right to label a product as ‘Made Green in Italy’ as one of the incentives.

Evaluation of the Herno jacket covered water and energy consumption, potential contribution to climate change (including damage to the ozone layer, acid rain, eutrophication or the depletion of oxygen in seas and soil) and otential toxicity.

According to the partner companies, the study found that the environmental cost of the jacket was €1.97, and they have said the environmental cost of a similar jacket made in China would be €5.22. Contributing factors to this include the Italian jacket’s longer life and easy-care qualities, but the Italian companies have also concluded that raw materials sourced in China and the energy use of a Chinese producer would increase the CO2 emissions of the Asian-made jacket.

“Production of the jacket may cost less in China but it costs much more in environmental terms: 165% more than a jacket made in Italy,” the Italian companies have said.

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