Project developers: Product development/Quality / Design / Modelling
Partners: Suppliers

Improving product quality to extend life duration

The product categories concerned

Context and description

In Europe, an item of clothing is worn for an average of 3.3 years. Extending product life duration permits recourse to new items to be reduced, significantly influencing the environmental impacts linked to production.


To extend product life duration, three main levers can be activated:

• Improve product sustainability (its quality, its capacity to be repaired, its guarantee, its multi-functionality);

• Give the product a second lease of life thanks to repair and reuse ;

• Optimise usage, thanks to good product care or product sharing between several users.



Complexity of implementation


Estimated economic gain


Human means

6 months
1 season

Implementation timeframes

Try it! : Follow the sheet step by step and have a go!
Step of
  • Define quality standards in the specifications. For every product or product typology, the organisation must determine an acceptable quality level and the tests permitting it to be ensured by referring to the related standard and tolerance thresholds.

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Invite designers to work on the cut of products with respect to several points : ensure that the product will retain its shape when worn (taking account of the grain for example), choose timeless, functional, more sustainable cuts.

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Choose raw materials and accessories according to the properties sought in the product: for example synthetic fibres for their resistance or long fibres to improve thread solidity (See Tool 1).

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Adapt ennobling choices (dyes and finishes) in order to not degrade the quality of the end product (See Tool 2 p.14 et 15).

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • In the specifications, include advice to orient suppliers towards the blending techniques which are best adapted to the material in order to preserve its properties: choice of assembly thread assembly, type of machine, stitch density …

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Carry out quality checks at the level of production (internal or by a service provider) to ensure that the requirements set out in the specifications are respected: measurement tables, material defects, assembly defects, dyeing defects …

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Appoint a laboratory to perform tests on dimensional stability, tearing resistance, abrasion resistance, pilling, bleeding of colours (during washing, with perspiration, wet and dry rubbing).

    These tests can also be performed when choosing the material. Recommended reference values have been determined to ensure a satisfactory life duration (See Tool 2 p.16 and See Tool 3 p.106 and 107).

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Respect criteria to benefit from a durability eco-modulation put in place by Refashion for textile articles and footwear (See Tool 4).

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • Ask users to assess the life duration of products and the reasons for which they throw products away, via a customer questionnaire for example.

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

  • From the elements of the questionnaire, reinforce checks on the most frequent defects and if needs be, modify the specifications. Consider introducing a repair service.

    Choose the date of my alert to complete this stage

key indicators

- Number of quality standards included in the specifications.

- Putting in place quality checks.

- Putting in place a customer questionnaire.

- Average product life duration

Watch points

When extending the product life cycle, particular attention must be paid in order to avoid transferring impacts to the manufacturing stage (by having recourse to chemical treatments for example).
This action must go hand in hand with the accompaniment of consumers to limit impacts during the use stage.

To go one step further :

Tool 1 : Rethink

Tool 2 : Sustainable clothing

Tool 3 : Eco-design of textile - clothing products

Tool 4 : Eco-modulations

What did you think of the sheet?

Would you like to give us more details? Click here.

What is Eco design?

Eco design is a platform whose purpose is to provide information and assist textile and footwear brands to rise to the eco-design challenge. This platform is a Refashion initiative (formerly Eco TLC), a public authority-approved eco-organisation for the CHF industry (Clothing, Household linen and Footwear).

Our vision: a 100% circular textile and footwear industry.

Your Cookie Settings

Refashion uses trackers to customise its Site’s content according to your browser in order to enable you to share content on social networks as well as to measure the Site’s audiences and performance. For further information please see our Cookie Policy.

accept all
refuse all
Customise my choices

You may modify your preferences at any time by going to the “Cookie Policy” section at the bottom of the page.

Cookies: customise your choices

When browsing on our site, Cookies are created in your browser. Some of them require your consent. Click on each Cookie category in order to enable or disable their use. In order to benefit from all of our Site’s functionalities it is advised that the different Cookie categories are enabled. Refer to our Cookie Policy.

These Cookies are necessary to ensure that the Site functions in an optimal way. Therefore they are permanently enabled. They include Cookies allowing your site visit to be remembered during the sessions or, of you so wish, from session to session. If you refuse or uninstall these Cookies you will not be able to browse our site.
These Cookies allow us to improve the Site’s user-friendliness through the analysis of visitor use. In some case, these Cookies improve the speed at which requests are processed by allowing us to save your site preferences. Disabling these Cookies can slow the site down and limit the relevancy of recommendations.
Statistical cookies allow visits to be counted anonymously in order to know which pages are the least popular and to see how visitors browse the site without having to create a user account.
Cookies linked to social networks allow you to connect up to social networks and share the Site’s content on the internet. In some cases these cookies require the use of Personal Data. To obtain more information on the processing of your Personal Data please refer to our Confidentiality Policy.