The Billie System is a new kind of technology that is streamlining the recycling of textiles. It is environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective; making it the perfect solution for many brands.

Textile waste is one of the largest crises facing society today. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 15 million tons of textile waste is collected each year (and, that amount has doubled over the last 20 years!). Of that 15 million tons, only 2.62 million was recycled, and 10.46 million tons were tossed into landfills. Fortunately, many clothing brands have woken up to the problem at hand and have made strides in ensuring unused clothing and textiles are recycled. However, just how that fabric is being recycled is unknown. One company, Novetex Textiles Unlimited, is focused on changing that lack of transparency by working with brands to recycle unused/used materials through their newest invention: The Billie System.

What is the Billie System?

Developed by Novetex Textiles Limited, The Billie System is a new patented system that uses no water and is almost entirely automated, that helps companies revive excess inventory, unused raw materials, and/or textile waste. In addition, this technology produces no chemical waste.

How does it work?

The machines used in this process can process up to three tons of recycled fibres per day. These are the steps:

1.Garments are purified using an ozone sanitisation system. The ozone is produced onsite, and then disposed into the air as oxygen.

2.Hardware is removed from recycled clothing by hand and fabrics are trimmed.

3.Trimmed fabrics are then sent to a camera system to be sorted into nine color ranges.

4.Colour-sorted swatches are transferred by an Automatic Guide Vehicle to the mechanical recycling process, which breaks the fabrics down into fibres.

5.Fibres go through two stages of UV light sanitisation.

6.The 100 percent recycled fibres are processed into slivers, which can then be used to make yarn.

Why it is Better

The most commonly used method of textile recycling is fibre conversion. Let's break it down, and maybe you will see just how much better The Billie System is:

Fibre Conversion

During fibre conversion, textiles are fed through an industrial-sized shredder (which, undoubtedly, uses a tremendous amount of energy) to then create a blend of old and new fibres. However, the end result is not even guaranteed to be used in the production of new clothing. In fact, a majority of this converted fabric is used to make carpet or paper products because it is not durable enough to be turned into apparel.