WIT Press

The Human Side Of The Triangle: Using Green Textile Standards To Address Social Responsibility


Free (open access)





Page Range

525 - 536




381 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Stark & M. Cudhea


Textile specification in the interior design field has evolved to include attributes in addition to aesthetics, cost, building occupant health and safety, and specialized performance criteria. Initially, \“green” specifications addressed environmental impact reduction through renewable, recycled, recyclable, nontoxic and low-emitting materials. Worldwide, third-party certifications continue to expand sustainable attributes to include social equity impacts on human health, safety, training and compensation throughout the product life cycle. Comprehension of these new assessment tools is essential for designers to effectively balance economic, environmental, and social responsibility. Although social responsibility has been discussed in the context of global sustainable development since the 1970s, third-party evaluation attempts to systematically connect the effects of product manufacture, use, and disposal to the human condition are relatively recent. Environmental and social impacts are interrelated, but not interchangeable. Social equity criteria are not addressed uniformly in textile certifications. This paper presents research on designers’ perceptions of social responsibility, awareness of social issues in the textile life cycle, and prioritization of textile specification criteria. The study also considers to what extent designers take responsibility for sustainable design decisions, and if sustainable design is becoming a standard practice. The analysis focuses on responses generated by a questionnaire distributed through an online interior design publication based in Texas (USA) and distributed internationally. Keywords: social responsibility, interior design, life cycle assessment, material selection, sustainable textile standards.


social responsibility, interior design, life cycle assessment, materialselection, sustainable textile standards