As apparel and textile products made from blended materials account for a high proportion of all textiles in the market and garments are very often made from a blend of different fibres to improve fit, style, comfort and longevity, there is a need to develop methods for separating and recycling them.
Recycling single fibre fabrics such as denim jeans and wool sweaters is mechanically possible, however, there is a lack of commercially viable options to separate, sort and recycle popular materials like cotton and polyester blends. Thus, used garments of blended or unknown materials are either discarded in landfills, or downcycled into insulation, carpeting, and other low value applications.
“This is one of the biggest and most comprehensive efforts ever for textile recycling. The overall aim for us as a Foundation is to protect the planetary boundaries and work to ensure living conditions. We want to develop at least one ready technology to recycle clothes made from textile blends into new clothes. This would be a major breakthrough in the journey towards a closed loop for textiles in the fashion industry,” said Erik Bang, project manager, H&M Foundation.
“HKRITA is very excited about the work in this series of applied research projects. We look forward to providing practical solutions to a pressing local and global challenge. We are grateful to partner with H&M Foundation for making our work possible. Sustainability is one of our key research focuses. We aim to develop technologies that are scalable and commercially viable,” said Edwin Keh, chief executive officer, HKRITA.
The resulting technologies will be widely licensed to ensure a broad market access and maximum impact. Additional substantial research funding and support will be provided by the innovation and technology fund of the Hong Kong SAR government. (KD)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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