Homegrown/Homespun; Scaling Up a Low-Carbon Textile System in Lancashire

Pribyl, Helena and Davies, Jessica and Stevenson, Mark and Grant, Patrick and Aldersey-Williams, Justine and Peake, Laurie (2023) Homegrown/Homespun; Scaling Up a Low-Carbon Textile System in Lancashire. Masters thesis, Lancaster University.

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With growing interest in ethically- and environmentally-sound fashion systems, regional economic resilience, and community climate action, this research aimed to investigate the feasibility to upscale a localised and low-carbon textile system. Using a case study approach of the ‘Homegrown/Homespun’ textile initiative in Blackburn, East Lancashire, the thesis highlights the opportunities and tensions involved in upscale, focusing on a proposed flax and natural indigo supply chain. Guided by the triple bottom line (TBL) framework for sustainability (Elkington, 1998), a mixed-methods approach drew conclusions from primary and secondary quantitative and qualitative data. Contributing to a growing interdisciplinary field of research, the thesis is situated between the fields of environmental research, sustainable supply chain management, transitions research, and environmental psychology. The research findings recommend a gradual re-localisation, recognising the short-term trade-offs between elements of sustainability within a long-term vision towards a UK-based sustainable textiles industry. Collaborative endeavours across the industry are suggested to support economic feasibility, considering the current economic and infrastructural challenges. The carbon life cycle assessment (LCA) proposes flax-based denim to be a low-carbon fibre alternative, potentially with less than half the associated carbon impact of a cotton pair of jeans. A participatory action approach supported holistic and community-centric research into social sustainability within TBL. Findings from a small sample imply the ‘Homegrown/Homespun’ project facilitates the behavioural and psychological capability of the volunteering community to engage in environmental action. This research has supported a greater understanding of upscaling sustainable business models and considering the prospects for re-shoring garment manufacturing to a high-cost economy, building on existing literature. The thesis contributes an indepth account of upscaling efforts from small-scale initiatives grounded in sustainability principles and innovative thinking.

Item Type:
Thesis (Masters)
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Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? textilessupply chain managementregenerative farmingclimate actionre-shoringsustainabilitytbl sustainabilityyes - externally fundedsdg 11 - sustainable cities and communitiessdg 13 - climate actionsdg 12 - responsible consumption and production ??
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15 Feb 2023 09:45
Last Modified:
29 Feb 2024 00:25