Swedish clothing recycling company Re:newcell says it is set to become the first in the world to launch a range of garments made from recycled cotton clothes early next year.
The clothes, made with Re:newcell's new 'Circulose' material, will be launched early next year through collaborations with selected retailers.
The company describes the garments as "the world's first clothes made from circular cotton". It says Circulose was developed to reduce the vast quantities of unwanted or worn out garments which end up in landfill or incineration plants each year.
And while it acknowledges there are several initiatives experimenting with new circular materials, Re:newcell insists this is the "first solution that works on a larger scale".
The company reuses chemicals to dissolve the natural fibers of donated garments with a high cellulosic content - cotton and viscose. The resulting mixture is dried to produce a new, biodegradable raw material which is then packaged into bales and fed back into the textile production cycle.
"Circulose was created with the ambition to shift the entire industry to circularity and to dramatically lower the impact fashion has on the environment," said Harald Cavalli-Björkman, head of the brand for Circulose.
Re:newcell, which operates a chemical recycling plant for pre- and post-consumer textiles in Kristinehamn, Sweden, says less than one percent of clothes are currently recycled.
Its ambition is for Circulose to reduce the fashion industry's reliance on virgin cotton, oil production and the harvesting of trees by reusing discarded textiles to create new material.
Re:newcell says its recycling system is vastly more sustainable than existing manufacturing processes as it uses less water and chemicals, emits less CO2 and helps to preserve resources.
Its plant in Kristinehamn currently produces around 7,000 tonnes of Circulose pulp per year. The material is certified, organic, biodegradable, recyclable and offers similar characteristics to conventional cotton fibers.
"As a new material, we knew Circulose had to do three things in order to make a real difference in the industry; it needed to be circular, it needed to be affordable, and it needed to deliver the quality that people expect," said Cavalli-Björkman.
"We're now incredibly excited about our upcoming collaborations with some of the world's leading brands to bring this material to the fashion runways and into the closets where it belongs."
Re:newcell will not disclose the nature of the chemicals used, to avoid rivals from copying its system, but says all are either recovered or neutralized as part of the process. "Our process water discharge goes to the local municipal water plant for treatment as regular household wastewater," said a spokesman.
The new collection of Circulose clothing was presented at the recent Première Vision fashion and textiles fair in Paris, ahead of its distribution to stores early in 2020.
Courtesy: Eco Textile News
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