UK-based recycling innovator, Worn Again Technologies (WAT) has launched a new recycling network- Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem. The project will assist the formation of a circular economy based on Worn Again Technologies' unique polymer recycling technology by bringing together major industry stakeholders from throughout the entire textile value chain.
To achieve full circularity and trigger a paradigm change in the fashion business, all parts of the value chain must be on the same page and working toward the same goals. The Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a collaboration of fabric and textile manufacturers, waste collectors and sorters, as well as retailers, brand owners, and technology providers. All of these stakeholders will work together to make their shared goal for the sector's sustainability a reality.
The partners will supply various types of textile waste to Worn Again Technologies' demonstration facility, which will process 1000 tonnes of material per year and is being built near Sulzer Chemtech, WAT's technological scale-up partner. Following enhanced chemical processing, virgin-like recycled fibers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and cellulose will be supplied to the same industry participants for the production of new high-quality textiles.
The consortium will be composed of WAT’s main shareholders, Sulzer, Oerlikon and H&M Group. Furthermore, Rieter will support short-staple spinning, Monosuisse will handle PET fiber manufacturing, Coop will function as retailer, and TEXAID, in collaboration with Sallmann (ISA) and Serge Ferrari, will manage collection, sorting, and feedstock – all controlled by Swiss Textiles.
The creation of the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a significant step forward in the scalability of Worn Again Technologies' recycling process technology. It also supports its goal of establishing a circular economy in which non-reusable, difficult-to-recycle textiles may be reintroduced into supply chains and transformed into new fibers, textiles, and other items.
Worn Again Technologies' first demonstration factory in Winterthur, Switzerland, will begin construction this year. This is an important step in scaling up and commercializing the company's recycling process technology.
Erik Koep, CEO at Worn Again Technologies, added that launching the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a vision coming true. This influential coalition of like-minded organizations will contribute to the transition of the fashion industry from old, linear product lifecycle models to eco-conscious, circular material management. They think that zero waste initiatives will only become a reality if the whole industry commits to working collectively. They see the Ecosystem as a means of coordinating sustainability efforts across the whole textile value chain, as well as the next step toward a green fashion industry.
Torsten Wintergerste, Chairman of Worn Again Technologies and Division President at Sulzer Chemtech, said that they look forward to engaging with all stakeholders of the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem. Their assistance is highly significant, and their faith in their mission is greatly appreciated. Members of the Ecosystem will provide textile waste that may be utilized as feedstock for our textile recycling demonstration facility. The partnership will also be critical in scaling up their skills and developing a network to support the global implementation of industrial-scale facilities.
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