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Apparel recycling gets fashionable
30
Jan '16
Nordic countries have launched couple of dynamic campaigns to take sustainability of the clothing industry to a new level.

Millions of tons of textiles are thrown away each year. But instead of tossing your clothes once you are done with them, you could give some other people a chance wear something new. With that in mind, Sweden has launched ShareWear, a part of the Democreativity initiative, that aims to inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable. It's ready-to-share collection with Swedish fashion pieces that you can borrow - but only if you share it forward.

The campaign was launched earlier this month in an attempt to “make ready-to-share the new ready-to-wear.” The collection was initially launched in 12 countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, UK, US, Russia and China.

And in Finland, the Relooping Fashion Initiative is targeting clothing recycling directly, and may be able to produce the world's first 100 per cent post-consumer-waste textiles and clothing. A new cellulose dissolution technique developed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. (VTT) allows worn-out cotton clothing to be turned into new, high quality fibers for the textile industry.

“This is a great example of the brilliant opportunity that the Circular Economy brings to European businesses. By creating new technology and innovative products for the future, we promote competitiveness and sustainable growth” said Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness

Re-producing old cotton clothing into new material has been very challenging, because the worn-out fibers are too short to be spun into new thread. New cotton also needs to be added to each batch, making 100 per cent post-consumer-waste textiles an impossible dream.

But not anymore. The Relooping Fashion Initiative not only maintains the quality of the re-produced fibers – it can actually improve it. The process uses new revolutionary technology that allows for virtually unlimited recycling of cellulose-based fabrics without the addition of any harmful chemicals or new material. This has dramatic positive impact to the environmental issues caused by the global textile industry today.

The closed-loop value chain maintains the value of the material, eliminates waste, and introduces a whole new line of sustainable future designs.

The closed-loop model can be also replicated in other industrial sectors, and works on a knowledge-sharing principle. The first clothing lines made of the new recycled fibers will be in stores toward the end of 2016.

“This revolutionary process is the first time that post-consumer textile waste has been used on an industrial scale to make high quality fiber - and all without the need for any harmful chemicals,” said Ali Harlin, Research Professor at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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