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Fashion for Good new project to build a new textile waste value chain in India

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-11-25 13:56:38 – United Kingdom

Fashion for Good announces the Sorting For Circularity India Project, a consortium project to better understand India's pre-consumer and post-consumer textile waste streams, as well as to test sorting and mapping solutions. The project's goal is to create an infrastructure that will lead to increased circularity in the future.

Fashion for Good partners Adidas, Levi Strauss & Co., PVH Corp., Arvind Limited, Birla Cellulose, and Welspun India are among the industry players involved in the project. Fashion for Good pioneer Reverse Resources is a significant technical partner for the initiative, providing research of pre-consumer textile waste streams as well as designing and running the pre-consumer trial. The initiative is made possible through the Laudes Foundation's catalytic grant.

Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good, said that India is a significant center for textile manufacturing and consumption, as well as a global destination for post-consumer textile waste. This study is critical in determining the scale of a significant market and providing the incentive, tools, and means for the industry to reap the benefits of this underutilized resource.

Because of India's position as a textile production and consuming market, huge streams of pre-consumer and domestic post-consumer waste are generated. Pre-consumer trash is only partially recycled, with the majority of it being downcycled into lower-quality items. Domestic post-consumer trash, on the other hand, is notoriously difficult to track due to the scarcity of information on the waste, its quantities, composition, and other factors that influence its recycling. India is also one of the main recipients of worldwide post-consumer textile waste, with millions of tonnes of abandoned cloth imported and manually sorted through several hubs, worth more than €100 million. There is scant information on imported waste, just as there is on domestic waste.

Anita Chester, Head of Materials at Laudes Foundation, said that unless breakthroughs are scaled up, market buy-in is gained, and supply chain infrastructure is established, fossil-fuel-based synthetic materials will continue to dominate fashion. They're excited to see Fashion for Good and Reverse Resources team up to help the industry unleash the possibilities of circular materials via creativity and inventiveness.

Aside from a lack of precise data, there are currently no systems in place to organize, categorize, and sort materials to ensure that high-quality textile waste is available to recyclers who require sorted feedstocks in big quantities. While these are not the only issues that recyclers encounter, they represent important roadblocks to the development of chemical recycling technology in India.

Mr. Abhishek Bansal, Head Sustainability at Arvind Limited, said that recycling technology will be the industry's future, and they'll need access to traceable, high-quality textile waste for all waste streams to get there. They'll look at how to recycle traceable textile waste efficiently and assist in the development of a new textile waste value chain in India. This project is an excellent opportunity to assist in the organization of the Indian textile waste market, making it traceable and accessible to recyclers, manufacturers, and brands.

Manufacturers, sorters, collectors, waste handlers, and recyclers in India will benefit from the Sorting for Circularity India project, which attempts to address these issues and provide an accessible infrastructure. The project will demonstrate a new textile value chain in three phases over the course of 15 months. To begin, have a general overview of the textile waste supply chain in India, both pre-and post-consumer textile waste. Second, by discovering and testing technologies that enable textile waste traceability and accessibility to existing recyclers. Finally, by supplying recyclers with textile waste feedstocks that fulfill the quality requirements of advanced recycling technologies, these technologies will be encouraged to expand up in India.

The first phase, which began earlier this month and drew on Reverse Resources' experience and technology, aimed at mapping the present textile waste supply chain. This phase also draws on the knowledge, experience, and on-the-ground support of local stakeholders such as Sattva Consulting, a social development consulting and research firm with experience in landscape, market, and community-based studies, and Saahas Zero Waste, an expert in waste management with a stronghold on India's informal sector, as well as suppliers chosen by the study's industry partners. The findings and lessons learned from this phase will be published in an open-source report for the general public in mid-2022.

Fashion for Good has launched the Sorting for Circularity India Effort, which invites industry stakeholders in India's textile waste sector to join this ambitious project to map the country's textile waste landscape. Volunteered data and resources are critical for collecting real-world estimations that can be used to map the landscape and test technologies that are best suited to address the challenges.

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