Impact Calculator methodology

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How does Recover™ measure its impact?

We have conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Recover’s fiber products. This is a so called 'cradle to gate' LCA because it only focuses on the material stage of the full life cycle of the final product, which could be a garment or another textile product. The methodology and data collection are executed in accordance with the “PEF Methodology” version 3.0 based on ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.

To calculate the LCAs of Recover’s products across multiple production facilities, we work with the Ecochain Helix foot-printing tool, supported by the Ecochain expert team.

Before we can publicly communicate any of the LCA results, Ecochain creates an LCA report which we then submit for a third-party review. It is only after approval from a third-party reviewer, that we are able to share the data publicly.

How does Recover calculate its impact savings?

The goal of an LCA is not only to measure and improve, but also to support our customers and final consumers to make informed decisions when they buy our products. To communicate the environmental advantages of Recover’s products efficiently and appealingly, without sacrificing legitimacy and integrity, we take great care in calculating savings. To do this, we compare the impacts of our recycled products to the environmental impacts of virgin conventional cotton.

This is easier said than done, because the available reference data on the environmental impact of traditionally produced cotton fibers has a large variability. Due to this complexity, we commissioned a study to better understand which impact categories we should focus on, how to ensure we are comparing correctly (apples with apples), and which reference data to use.

The results of this study are the impact savings of 1 kg Recover™ RPure and RBlue fiber compared with conventional alternatives and can be found below.

Recover™ LCA Spain verified by EcoReview (2022).
Recover™ LCA Spain verified by EcoReview (2022).

Water scarcity at Recover™

Recover™ hubs are located in areas identified with water scarcity risk, according to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, but our process uses minimal water. Our water use is limited to dissolving an antistatic product to allow for optimal shredding of the textile waste.

The requirements to be considered as “heavy water use”, according to Higg FEM, are to use more than 35m3 /day. Recover™ used in 2022, on average, 1.5 m3/day, which represents only 4% of this amount.

How does the Recover™ impact calculator work?

Based on the LCA results per product showed above, Recover™ calculates environmental savings based on:

1. The % of recycled cotton fiber and the % of the blend in the product:

Our impact calculator is designed with standard blends. RBlue is calculated using a blend of 52% Recover™ recycled cotton and 48% recycled polyester. RCotton is calculated using a blend of 25% recycled cotton and 75% conventional cotton.

2. The weight of the measurement unit:

Our LCA is measured per kilo of recycled cotton fiber. When selecting a measurement unit, you're actually selecting a weight.

Measurement unit

Weight (kg)Reference
Kilo1
Pounds0.4535921 kilo is 2.2 lbs
Sweatshirt0.501We used "Awdis College Pullover Hoodie" in size M as a reference (link).

T-shirt

0.137We used a "Fruit of the Loom" t-shirt in size M as a reference (link).
Pair of jeans0.354369We used a Levi's 501 STF as a reference (link).

3. The number of units

The exact formula is: (LCA result per environmental category) x (Weight in kg) x (Number of Units) x (% of recycled fiber per product category)

How do we calculate the "real-life examples" in the impact calculator?

We use "real-life examples" in the impact calculator to help readers contextualize our environmental savings. We created a series of real life examples per impact category. To calculate them, we divide the result per impact category per its real life example.

Real-life exampleValueUnitsReference
Showers42L/ShowerBased on a study carried out in the United States in 2016, in which the average shower is 7-8 minutes long. Residential End Uses of Water, Version 2 (REU2016) (DeOreo et al. 2016)
Years of drinking water821.5L/yearBased on a report from the European Food Safety Agency (2010) that lists 2 L for women and 2.5 L for men per day. Calculating an average per year between the two, we come to an average of 821.5 L per year. Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for water (EFSA, 2010)
Toilet flushes4.8L/flushBased on data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency: Recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. Residential End Uses of Water, Version 2 (REU2016) (DeOreo et al. 2016)
Loads of laundry52.9958L/load
Full-sized washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 14 gallons / 52.9 liters of water per load. Clothes Washer, Energy Star.
Standard bottles of water0.5L/bottleWe consider half-liter bottles as the standard bottle of water.

Dishwasher cycles

13.2L/cycleEnergy Star-rated dishwasher, which can only use a maximum of 3.5 gallons/13.2 liters per cycle. Dishwashers Key Product Criteria (Energy Star, 2016).
Olympic-sized swimming pool2500000L/poolHow much water does an Olympic-sized Swimming pool hold?
Km driven by car0.095kg CO₂/km per carAt the end of 2013, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached an agreement regarding two regulatory proposals that will implement mandatory 2020 CO₂ emission targets for new passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles in the European Union. The passenger car standards are 95 g/km of CO₂ , phasing in for 95% of vehicles in 2020 with 100% compliance in 2021. EU CO₂ Emission Standards For Passenger Cars And Light-Commercial Vehicles, International Council on Clean Transportation (2014) p.1
Km flown by plane0.054kg CO₂/km per passengerBased on the ICAO Carbon Emissions Calculator, one trip Madrid – New York in Economy class produces 315.6 kg of CO₂. According to https//distance.to the shortest airline distance between the two cities is 5768.21 km. If we divide 315.6 by 5768.21, we end up with 0.054 kg/km.
Trips around the planet (multiply by km flown by plane)40075.017

KM

How Many Miles Around the Earth?, Universe Today (2010).
Annual emissions of x people4500kg CO₂/capita/yrGlobal average of 2019 accordig to World Bank Data. This data is global. CO₂ emissions (metric tons per capita), The World Bank (2019).
Annual electricty use of x people3819.8kWhBased on “Per capita electricity generation” by our World In Data that take their source from BP Statistical Review of World Energy and Ember Global Electricity Review. The data is global (2020). Per capita electricity generation, Our World in Data (2020).
Basketball courts436.626Basketball court article, Wikipedia (2022).
% of NYM12093000000New York Metropolitan area article, Wikipedia (2022).
% of Manhattan59000000Manhattan article, Wikipedia (2022).