Cradle-to-grave environmental analysis of an alpaca fiber sweater produced in Peru

Karin Bartl, Patricia Mogrovejo, Alexis Dueñas, Isabel Quispe

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

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Animal fibers are an important raw material for the fashion industry but have recently been discussed due to the environmental impacts related to their production. In order to provide scientific information for decision-making in the Peruvian alpaca sector a cradle to grave carbon footprint of one (01) wear of a 100 % alpaca fiber sweater has been conducted. For the modeling of the fiber procurement stage primary data regarding livestock management and annual production parameters were obtained from interviews with 42 Peruvian alpaca herders from the main producing regions in South and Central Peru. Data for the processing stages (spinning and dyeing, knitting and weaving) were collected by means of interviews and questionnaires from three alpaca fashion companies in Arequipa and Lima. The distribution, use, and end-of-life stages were modeled with secondary data. The resulting carbon footprint of one wear of the alpaca fiber sweater is 0.449 kg CO2 equivalents (CO2e). Most emissions occur during the lifecycle stages of fiber production and distribution (70 % and 14 % of CO2e emissions, respectively). Methane emissions from enteric fermentation account for 87 % of the impact within the fiber procurement stage. The environmental impacts during the distribution stage were dominated by retailing and road transport in the destination countries and export by air and sea (53.1 % and 46.4 % of carbon emissions in this stage, respectively). Other life cycle stages were found to be less relevant emission sources. The study concluded that the main strategies for impact mitigation should focus on improving the efficiency of the fiber procurement systems. Furthermore, several knowledge gaps have been identified and should be addressed by future research regarding methane emissions associated with the main co-products of the livestock systems, ecosystem services in the Andes and especially Andean wetlands and potential mitigation strategies of greenhouse gases related to different pasture management options.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo167023
PublicaciónScience of the Total Environment
EstadoPublicada - 20 dic. 2023


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