Fashion for Good has launched the Sorting of Circularity initiative that aims to increase garment recycling through the use of technology.
Using improved Near-Infrared technologies, the project will conduct a comprehensive textile waste analysis and will also map the capacities of textile recyclers.
The project's ultimate goal is to create an open digital network that connects sorters with recyclers to balance textile waste.
Katrin Ley, Fashion for Good managing director, said the aim of the 18-month project is to strengthen the bond between textile sorters and textile recyclers by stimulating a recycling market for unwanted textiles that can generate new revenue streams for sorters.
She added historically, the sorting industry has made money by selling reusable textiles, with the rest either downcycled, incinerated, or dumped. To create a circular economy, they need a new end-market for non-reusable textiles, as well as technology and a digital matching system that will help sorters and recyclers' activities.”
Brands like Bestseller, Adidas, and Zalando, as well as Inditex as an external collaborator, will be facilitating the Sorting of Circularity initiative. Meanwhile, as part of the larger working party, Fashion for Good partners Levi Strauss & Co., Arvind Limited, Birla Cellulose, Otto, and PVH Corp are involved.
The initiative's results will be made available on a web portal that will match textile waste from sorters with recyclers, resulting in a more balanced circularity foundation in the future. This open-source platform will increase transparency, spark greater harmonization between the industries, and ensure that the lessons learned to lead to industry-wide foundational reform.
The project brings together the largest industrial textile sorters in the North-West European region, including the JMP Wilcox (a part of Textile Recycling International), Boer Group, I:CO (a part of SOEX Group), and TEXAID, putting key market players at the forefront and pushing the industry toward greater circularity.
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