The Greens / EFA – The true costs of cotton t-shirts


The Greens/EFA is a party within the European Parliament. It was interested in understanding the true costs of a cotton t-shirt, produced via the most common value chain route and produced in the EU.

Project description

Impact Institute supported the client in understanding the most common value chain of a cotton t-shirt and its EU-based equivalent. 

Moreover, we assessed the social and environmental external costs of the cotton t-shirt value chain (in pre-COVID scenario) from cultivation of cotton to point of sales in the EU.

Benefits to the client

The client learned about the true costs of cotton t-shirts sold in the EU, produced both inside and outside of the EU. The information can be used to contrast with the market price of a cotton t-shirt and to communicate to the general public about social issues and environmental damage of producing cotton t-shirts. 

Moreover, the insights may be used to inform debates, lobby on related topics and communicate the environmental and social implications of the garment industry. Particularly, the results may be used to start the discussion on the materiality of external costs of materials used in this industry.

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