Textile industry is among the most essential consumer goods industry, yet continues to make numerous efforts to reduce its negative impact on the environment. One of these measures is an increase in textile recycling- reuse as well as reproduction of fibers from textile waste, which usually is represented by old clothes or what was left of the material while creating a garment. As stated by Miroslava Duma, Founder of Future Tech Lab in a recent interview: “More than 21 billion pounds of clothing gets thrown away annually and ends up in landfills. One solution is upcycling— turning discarded scrap fabric into new product. It eliminates textile waste and reduces the use of color dyes and virgin resources”.
All parts of the textile industry are trying to become greener and to find recycling solutions. Swedish Stockings Conscious Pantyhose are practically the only sustainable hosiery brand worldwide and the company has established a special recycling policy. They collect 3 or more pairs of any ripped stockings by asking the consumer to send it to their recycle centre in return for a discount code. Worn Again is a company that developed a textile to textile recycling technology that can separate and recapture polyester (PET) and cotton from discarded, low-value clothing to produce virgin-equivalent, cost competitive polyester and cellulosic raw materials to go back into the supply chain as part of a continual process.
Worn Again is being supported by Future Tech Lab - a disruptive movement of innovators bridging together fashion and science to create a sustainable future. And according to Miroslava Duma, “Investing into sustainability has huge potential! The mindset of the end consumer has changed so much over the years, that fashion will have to become more and more sustainable in order to stay relevant. Consumers choose sustainability, so if the brands want to be profitable, they have to adapt”.
So is “waste” the right word to describe the unwanted garments, or is it “resource” after all?