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How green is my jersey? The environmental impact of your cycling kit

How green is my jersey? The environmental impact of your cycling kit

Cycling is viewed as an environmentally friendly sport but what impact does our kit have on the planet? Words Emma Cole Photography Tapestry When it…

Tuesday, May 31

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Cycling is viewed as an environmentally friendly sport but what impact does our kit have on the planet?

Words Emma Cole Photography Tapestry

When it comes to protecting the environment, cyclists are the good guys, right? While riding our bikes we’re not burning fossil fuels or spewing out pollution. But what about that new jersey you’re wearing?

According to the latest report from the Apparel Impact Institute , the clothing sector accounts for around 2% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is ‘well off pace’ to achieve the 1.5°C warming limit set out in the Paris Agreement .

Emissions estimates vary. McKinsey & Company’s Fashion On Climate report claims the industry produces around 4% of global GHG emissions, the equivalent of the combined annual GHG emissions of France, Germany and the UK, while the World Economic Forum puts these estimates higher still, at about 10% of global GHG emissions.

‘These emissions vary because of the different metrics being accounted for,’ explains Dr Sara Han, senior lecturer in international fashion business at Nottingham Trent University. ‘Estimates that just look at production, distribution and supply chain will be lower than those that take into account the “use” phase. But whichever estimate you look at, the apparel industry has a major environmental impact.’ Chain of impact

Mavic clothing Image credit: Fred MacGregor Cycling clothing has a long and complex supply chain, from the design process, through agriculture and petrochemical production to manufacturing, logistics and retail. And there is an environmental impact at each […]

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