The other day, I stumbled upon a label above a bathroom’s paper towel dispenser detailing the “energy footprint”(total amount of energy involved in production) of a single towel. I had never seen anything like it before, but it appears that labeling a product’s energy or carbon footprint might become a trend.
Continental Clothing, a U.K.-based “eco-chic” clothing manufacturer, has announced that it’s working with the Carbon Trust to produce the world’s first carbon footprint label for clothing. A carbon footprint, as defined by the Carbon Trust, is the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product. The carbon footprint of Continental Clothing’s T-shirts and sweatshirts will be displayed on a label that explains the amount of carbon offset from renewable energy use as well as the amount of carbon that can be saved by avoiding tumble drying and ironing the garments.
The company’s T-shirts and sweatshirts will initially be sold through Adili.com, but Continental Clothing hopes to persuade mainstream stores to carry the items.
Carbon labels are already available on a number of products in the U.K., including Tesco light bulbs, Tesco orange juice, and King Edwards potatoes. And according to Continental Clothing’s product manager, members of British Parliament want to see carbon labels spread far and wide in the country.
The carbon labeling trend is also growing outside the U.K. An intrepid group called Carbon Label California has introduced “The Carbon Labeling Act of 2009” into the California Legislature and Japan recently launched a voluntary carbon footprint labeling scheme.
It’s hard to say if people will pay much attention to carbon labels. I’m too lazy to read nutrition labels and product instructions half the time, and I don’t think I’m alone. But at the very least, the labels will raise awareness of the mere existence of carbon footprints.
[Via Business Green]