University of Leeds Open Day Durability

LITAC Durability Research Project

The Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC)'s Durability Research Project is a three-year project exploring and advancing industry alignment on clothing durability, coordinated in partnership with WRAP and supported by participating brands and retailers.

The project builds on and will update WRAP’s 2014 Clothing Longevity Protocol, a comprehensive framework of tests and performance criteria that brands can use to assess the physical durability of different clothing products, and minimum durability standards that businesses should strive to achieve.

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Extending product lifetimes.

Increasing the length of time clothing is kept in use is one of the key ways we can reduce the environmental footprint of the industry. Central to this will be building durability into businesses' design and development processes to ensure products are made to last longer.

The LITAC Durability Research Project, which began in 2022 and will conclude in 2025, is exploring both physical durability and the lesser-researched concept of emotional durability, or more plainly, the relationship we have with our items and the emotive factors that affect how much we use them.

Through the project, participating brands and retailers are contributing their products for rigorous physical and visual assessments, encompassing wash and drying tests, tensile strength tests, tear strength tests, dimensional stability tests, pilling tests, snagging tests and abrasion tests. The findings from this research will allow WRAP and LITAC to update the existing guidelines outlined in WRAP's Clothing Longevity Protocol and expand on these further by developing protocols on a wider range of clothing items.

In 2025, the LITAC Durability Research Project will culminate in the creation of industry-first product specific benchmarks for durability. These benchmarks will allow fashion businesses to create products that last longer and are designed to move through circular business models like rental and resale. It will also allow them to evaluate how their products compare to others on the market and communicate the durability of their products more accurately to customers.

This project is helping to inform the circular design workstream under WRAP's Textiles 2030 voluntary initiative and is driving progress on the Textiles 2030 Circularity Roadmap.

Project timelines and milestones.

August 2022 – February 2023

  • Testing begins for phase one categories (including jeans, trousers, leggings, and underwear)

March 2023 – September 2023

  • First Durability Sprint Group held in Leeds with project partners
  • Survey developed to explore consumer attitudes and behaviours around durability

October 2023 – April 2024

  • Phase one results shared with project partners
  • Second and third Durability Sprint Groups held with project partners
  • Development of methodologies for benchmarking and minimum durability guidelines for phase one categories

May 2024 – November 2024

  • Testing begins for phase two categories (including t-shirts, shirts, blouses, knitwear, and PJ bottoms)
  • Finalise the benchmarking rules and minimum durability guidelines for phase one categories
  • Phase two results shared with project partners
  • Fourth Durability Sprint Group with project partners

December 2024 – July 2025

  • Development of benchmarks and minimum durability guidelines for phase two categories
  • Focus groups with members of the public to explore emotional durability
  • Final insights from the project will be made publicly available (please note, project results will be anonymised).

Highlights so far.

brands and retailers taking part in the project
individual specimens have been tested so far (multiple specimens are taken from each item)
individual tests were completed in phase one

Get involved.

If you are a brand, retailer, or any other producer of textiles and garments and want to find out how to participate in WRAP's textiles projects, please contact

Get in contact