A new technology is being developed by the Revive/Recycle project, funded by the EcoTLC and set up at Recuprenda in Valencia. This innovative machine will enable us to process high volume of unusable garments into recyclable feedstock in an effective and efficient.
This project is focused on the revival and recycling of clothing to improve the circularity of the textile industry. The clothing industry is currently experiencing an extremely high return rate of their products, especially the online-shops. Most of which are not put into resale on the basis of minimal traits of usage or damages. Most of the damages are light and most items are repairable. Nonetheless, almost the whole volume of the returns and damages are being landfilled or incinerated. On the post-consumer side, some old clothes are collected and some are re-used, but few are recycled and re-manufactured into new clothes. Reports suggest that almost all of the clothes thrown out with domestic waste could be used.
R&D is now needed to optimize the cleaning and refurbishing of textile goods at a commercial scale. For clothing that cannot be reused or revived, there are a number of different recycling routes available: mechanical recycling or chemical based recycling technologies. However, it is argued that, for all these technologies to work efficiently, the textiles need to be ‘prepared for recycling’, meaning the textile must be sorted (e.g. into material types) and metals and hard plastic parts must be removed as these parts can cause problems for downstream processing technologies. So far there is no clear solution to this pre-treatment challenge.
With Revive/Recylce, driven by AIR – Agence Innovation Responsable, Recuprenda will improve the circularity standards in the textile sector by salvaging clothes and also preparing them for a correct professional recycling by using the innovative technology developed in the project scheme with the support of EcoTLC.