Clothing provides its greatest benefit to society when it lasts longer, is used more frequently, and is reused or recycled. The goal of The Sustainability Consortium’s Project WearEver is to:
Use garment embedded information technology to measure clothing use
Create a market-based system that incentivizes demand for clothes that have better emotional and physical utility and durability.
Project WearEver is implementing pilot studies in 2019 to demonstrate the use of technology to track clothing use and laundering. Additionally, it will prototype measurement standards, privacy policies, and analytics that create value and reduce risk for brands, retailers, and consumers. Pilot studies will take place in both home and office settings. Possible technologies to be demonstrated include RFID, NFC, and motion or thermal sensors.
The main objective is to demonstrate that tracking technology can be used to identify when an item of clothing is being worn (used), being laundered, or being stored (not used). This includes:
Validate the use case, i.e. that garment use versus dormancy can be detected reliably.
Identify cases where tracking errors occur, or limits to functionality exist.
Identify problems with configuration installation, operation, and maintenance.
These pilot studies will explore the following objectives during this proof-of-concept phase:
Using a multi-stakeholder approach, develop measurement standards and protocol that can be used to create standard utilization and longevity metrics that are reliable and comparable across companies.
Develop the consumer privacy protections, brand anonymity protections, and data governance policies that make consumers, brand manufacturers, and retailers feel safe.
Develop a plan for raising awareness and scaling to industry-wide adoption during the next phase of implementation.