Clothing research at SIFO

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SIFO's clothing research examines how we acquire, use, clean, care for and dispose of clothes and other textiles. The research includes consumption of clothes for adults and children in Norway and comparative studies of clothing elsewhere in the world, both today and historically.

Clothes are complex both technically and socially, and our research takes this complexity into consideration. Our cleaning and care habits, clothing norms and habits are thus examined in connection with material aspects. To achieve this, SIFO's clothing researchers have developed methods (wardrobe studies) with great impact on clothing research internationally.

SIFO has been researching clothes since the institute was founded in 1939. Back then the authorities aimed at increasing knowledge about housekeeping, facilitate work for housewives and ensure good clothes and healthy food for everyone.

Today's clothing research continues to include information to the public and projects for business and industry. Earlier, clothing research took place in SIFOs laboratories, where products and textiles were tested. Today's research is a continuation of the material focus from the laboratories, but the methods are mainly from cultural and social sciences.

Clothing research at SIFO is aimed at major societal challenges

Follow SIFOs clothing research at


Other employees at SIFO also participate in clothing research projects. In addition, the researchers have large national and international networks within research and industry.

SIFOs clothing researchers

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Funding and projects

The research is mainly funded through project support from the Research Council of Norway. Funding is characterized by a variety of programs and themes: environment, bioeconomy, health, gender equality, business development, creative industries/art.

In 2021, two new, large RCN-funded projects started:

SIFO is also a partner in Amazing Grazing, which is led by Nibio.

The project LASTING: Sustainable prosperity through product durability, where research on clothing and textiles makes up a large part, started in 2020. The RCN project KRUS ended in 2019.

In addition, clothing research is funded through small projects from authorities, industry, the EU etc. SIFO has done several studies for Australian Wool Innovation and is now working on a Polish-Norwegian collaboration for better utilization of Polish sheep wool, Woolume.

Follow the projects at our website (

Target groups and users of SIFO’s clothing research

SIFO is part of a network including the Norwegian textile industry, with particularly strong ties to the wool industry, where SIFO's researchers are perceived as national experts. SIFO’s researchers also have strong connections with the international wool industry.

Norwegian authorities on health, environmental and consumer issues are important target groups for the research. In addition, SIFO provides information to the public through media and own publications and activities.

SIFO's clothing researchers take a stand publicly on issues such as shedding of microplastics from clothing, reuse and longevity, the clothing industry and greenwashing, import and export of clothing and textile waste.

Dissemination and communication

View list of publications at our website (