The role of data in developing a circular textile economy

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
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Degree programme
Tieto- ja palvelujohtaminen
The textile industry is one of the major contributors to climate change and environmental degradation. Despite widespread recognition of its significant environmental impact and the vast amount of waste it generates, production and consumption levels are rising, aggravating the problem. Shifting away from the linear economic model of "take-make-dispose" towards a circular economy is becoming essential to help solve the sustainability crisis. There has been a growing emphasis on how data and digitalization can support the adoption of circular economy. This interplay between green and digital transitions referred to as “twin transition” has been gaining attention in the recent years and is driving changes in the European Union. Still, the implementation of data-driven solutions for circularity of textiles is in an early stage. However, emerging technologies hold a significant potential to support the transition towards a more circular economy of textiles in the future. This thesis conducts a literature review to explore the current state of the textile industry and its prevailing practices and challenges. It provides an overview of how digitalization can help overcome the challenges and barriers to make a transformation towards circularity. This study identifies digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, and digital product passports, as important tools for collecting, sharing, and analyzing lifecycle data. These tools offer opportunities to support circular business models by helping optimize resource use, reduce waste, and ultimately extend the lifecycle of textiles.
Thesis advisor
Bragge, Johanna
circular economy, textile industry, data, digital technologies, twin transition
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