That depends, in a major way, on how and how often it is washed and dried: on average, about 10% of energy used goes into producing cotton fibers, 12% into making the shirt (these two values are higher for polyester), 19% for washing, and a whole 53% for tumble drying. And of course the carbon cost of shipping a t-shirt over large distances matters a lot too (that’s the remaining few %). I wasn’t able to find the actual average total amount of emitted carbon dioxide, unfortunately. To get some idea, using a label from a clothing manufacturer that provides such data, about 2.8 kg of CO2 is release per garment (with extra 5.5 kg if non-renewable electricity sources are used in manufacture). That’s without the washing and drying described above.
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