Young man asleep on sofa with blanket and hood. Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash

Adding another layer? A future for clothing in heat demand reduction and decarbonisation

Home > Policy & Governance > Adding another layer? A future for clothing in heat demand reduction and decarbonisation

October 2020 to September 2021

Project team

Janine Morley

Nicola Spurling

This project aims to inspire greater research and policy interest in clothing and greater recognition of its potential significance in the transition to low-carbon heating.

Adding another layer? A future for clothing in heat demand reduction and decarbonisation

The challenge of decarbonising space heating is complex and urgent. Reducing demand for heating in homes, and elsewhere, could make an important contribution but tends to be overlooked. For instance, different forms of clothing allow lower indoor temperatures to feel comfortable. Whilst this seems obvious, clothing has become an implausible topic for carbon reduction policy. Research is also lacking. By imaginatively exploring futures of clothing-related reductions in heat demand and by reviewing current evidence, this project aims to inspire greater research and policy interest in clothing and greater recognition of its potential significance in the transition to low-carbon heating.

What we are asking

  • How could clothing contribute towards reducing demand for space heating, particularly as part of carbon reduction policy?
  • What do we currently know about how different styles of clothing affect the demand for space heating, for instance temperature variations between homes?
  • Can imagining future scenarios help to clarify knowledge gaps and inspire greater interest in the potential of clothing?
  • What role could the fashion & clothing industry play?
  • What may be the limitations and challenges of focusing on clothing in order to reduce heat demand?

Banner photo credit: Rex Pickar on Unsplash