A new frontier in chemical recycling

Fashion for Good recently launched the Full Circle Textiles Project: Scaling Innovations in Cellulosic Recycling, to address this issue.

By   |  Published: 16th Sep 2020  2:42 pm

New Delhi: As much as 73 percent of the clothing we produce is sent to landfill or is incinerated; and in of all new clothing made, less than 1 percent of material used comes from recycled sources.

Fashion for Good recently launched the Full Circle Textiles Project: Scaling Innovations in Cellulosic Recycling, to address this issue.

Focusing on cellulosic fibres, the Project aims to validate and eventually scale promising technologies in chemical recycling from a select group of innovators. Global organisations Laudes Foundation, Birla Cellulose, Kering, PVH Corp. and Target have joined the project, to explore the disruptive solutions, with the goal of creating new fibres and garments from used clothing and ultimately drive industry-wide adoption.

The project aims to investigate economically viable and scalable solutions for cellulosic chemical recycling to enable a closed loop system converting textile waste – of cotton and cotton-blend materials, to produce new man-made cellulosic fibres.

“A bold approach is needed to identify and scale innovations that drive sustainable change in the fashion industry. The unique, first-of-its-kind structure of this committed, multi-stakeholder consortium, addresses some of the key barriers to scaling innovation, setting the precedent for all industry players with ambitions for disruptive innovation to follow,” Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good said in a statement.

Over an 18-month period, project partners will collaborate with innovators, Evrnu, Infinited Fiber Company, Phoenxt, Renewcell and Tyton BioSciences, to validate the potential of their technologies in this still nascent market. The recycled content produced by four of these innovators will be converted at Birla Cellulose’s state of the art pilot plants to produce high quality cellulosic fibres. From there, fibres will move through the project partners supply chains to be manufactured into garments. Given that Infinited Fiber Company produces industry-ready fibre through their process, their fibre will be delivered directly to the project partner’s supply chains for garment production. The Project will provide an assessment of the innovator’s environmental impact, technologies, recycled output and subsequent garments. These results along with the Project key learnings should determine how best to support and scale these promising solutions.

“The need of the hour is to co-create sustainable solutions for the fashion industry that can be scaled rapidly and economically,” said Dilip Gaur, Business Director, Birla Cellulose, Aditya Birla Group.