Recycling start-up Worn Again is in the final stages of developing a textile-to-textile recycling process, which it claims is the first of its kind, and has teamed up with H&M and Puma for the testing stages.
To address the growing issue of clothes-to-landfill, Worn Again’s chemical recycling technology is able to separate and extract polyester and cotton from old or end-of-use clothing and textiles. Once separated, the aim is to enable the ‘recaptured’ polyester and cellulose from cotton to be spun into new fabric creating a ‘circular resource model’ for textiles.
“This new technology addresses major barriers in textile-to-textile recycling, namely: how to separate blended fibre garments and how to separate dyes and other contaminants from polyester and cellulose,” said Worn Again.
Its founder and director Cyndi Rhoades told WSA as part of an in-depth look at textiles recycling in the September/October issue: "Our intention is to turn polyester and cellulose back into equivalent virgin resources at the same quality and price.”
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H&M and Puma will be testing the Worn Again technology in their supply chains this year. H&M’s head of sustainability, Anna Gedda, said: “In the long run, this can change the way fashion is made and massively reduce the need for extracting virgin resources from our planet. Furthermore, it brings us closer to our goal of creating fashion in a circular model.”
Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer at Puma owner Kering, added: “Innovation is what we need to solve our global environmental challenges. Our collaboration with H&M and Worn Again is a great example of this, demonstrating how we can design and deliver a solution that will be fundamental in eradicating textile waste while simultaneously offering a new type of sustainable raw material for our sport and lifestyle brands.”