Emissions

8. The CO2 emissions to weave the fabric are less than the amount created in producing a conventional natural fiber fabric and less than half that of a polyester fabric (0.11 KG vs. 0.32 KG of CO2 produced).

To get the carbon emissions for comparison, we used total fabric weight of 66.8 lbs. which is the total combined weight of all of the fabric used on an average sofa:

FABRIC USAGE WT in LBS.
25 yds decorative fabric, 22 oz/linear yd 34
20 yds lining fabric, 15 oz/linear yd 19
15 yds burlap, 10 oz/linear yd 9.4
10 yds muslin, 7 oz/linear yd 4.4
TOTAL WEIGHT: 66.8

We could not find emissions data based on finished fabric, so we used CO2 emissions data for various fiber types published by the Stockholm Environment Institute.

We averaged the organic cotton and conventional hemp to get our estimate for the O Ecotextiles fabric on the EKLA sofa, which overestimates the total CO2 emissions, as we used organic linen and not conventional hemp. There is very little difference between linen and hemp as fibers – they are both bast fibers, but there is a huge difference between organic fibers and conventional fibers in terms of emissions; with organic natural fibers being the better choice regardless of where in the world it was grown and/or shipped from.

Multiplying 0.0334 (66.8/2000) by each of the totals per fiber type, below, yielded the total KG of CO2 emissions for the sofa:

KG of CO2 emissions per ton of spun fiber
crop
cultivation
fiber
production
TOTAL
for one sofa, based
on fabric usage from
chart above
polyester, USA
0.0
9.5
9.5
0.32
cotton, conventional, USA
4.2
1.7
5.9
0.20
hemp, conventional
1.9
2.2
4.1
0.14
cotton, organic, India
2.0
1.8
3.8
0.13
cotton, organic, USA
0.9
1.5
2.4
0.08
average between “cotton, organic,
USA” and “hemp, conventional”
3.25
0.11

Source: Cherrett et al, “Ecological Footprint and Water Analysis of Cotton, Hemp and Polyester”, Stockholm Environment Institute.