In the future, apparel manufacturers are likely to produce closed loop recycled products only, as they will become cheaper to manufacture, will give better quality, and will be relatively more environment friendly.
Recycling at the end of a product’s life to produce another product of the same kind is termed as closed loop recycling. For example, a T-shirt is recycled to reproduce another T-shirt only.
Speaking to Fibre2Fashion, Stephen Wiegand, CEO, I:CO opined, “In the future, there won’t be an alternative to closed loop products. Materials will 100 percent be reused in a truly endless cycle.”
According to him, the technical developments will go on and the quality of upcycled materials will soon match the quality of virgin materials. “And the prices will become more stable than they are now, because at present they depend on oil and cotton,” he adds.
“Profit margins in the long run can even be higher. And there are of course tremendous environmental benefits,” he goes on.
Olaf Rintsch, president of Textiles Division, Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) suggests, “An apparel company should have a recycler attached to it, so that it becomes a closed loop process. Recycling can be done by using the contents which are already there on the streets, collecting them, and processing with a recycler.”
Citing an example, he states, “Levi’s is doing an exemplary work in this regards.”
There are many other such producers who are making eco-friendly products while maintaining the profits and not increasing the cost, he concludes.