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Browsing by Author "Davidkin, Marjut"

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  • Davidkin, Marjut (2019)
    The clothing industry and its environmental impact have recently been much discussed while consumer interest in sustainably produced clothing has been rising. As a response to increased demand, clothing companies have set up collections that give the impression of being ecologically and ethically manufactured. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has also been found to be related with negative byproducts such as incoherent ecoterminology and green washing. The idea for this study sprung up from a personal desire to better understand the ecosymbols hanging in clothes’ tags and the ecolabelling system behind them. The study has two main goals. The first is to decipher the kinds of ecolabels that textiles and clothing can have, and what criteria a product must meet in order to obtain a permission to use an ecolabel. According to previous studies, ecoterminology is often vague, and consumers’ awareness about it is low. The study examines three well-known ecolabels, the Nordic ecolabel ”Joutsenmerkki”, the EU-ecolabel ”EU-kukkamerkki” and the GOTS-sertificate. The study’s second aim is to analyse the information provided to consumers by the three children’s clothing companies profiling themselves as sustainable manufacturers. This information concerns the actions the companies have taken regarding their production’s ecologic sustainability, certification, as well as the underlying values behind the actions This second goal comprises the actual empirical part of the study. Brands chosen to this study are Vimma, Gugguu and Papu. The data were collected from the companies’ websites and was analysed according to the methods of content analysis. The results show that the quality of the information varies considerably. Papu got the best results due to a code of conduct document and a sustainability report that included both measures already taken as well as measures planned for the future. One possible interpretation for Vimma and Gugguu’s quite poor results is that even though measures had been taken toward sustainability, the companies didn’t properly report them to consumers. There is still much to improve, and standardized, independent and transparent ecolabels might be part of the solution as they might clarify the incoherent ecoterminology provided by clothing companies.