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Industry news: blended fibre recycling

A milestone for the textile industry

Not only profitable in terms of economy, but also in environmental terms - what we are talking about is the "Green Machine", developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) and H&M Foundation for the recycling of blended fibres. With this new development, the partners are taking a big step towards more sustainability in the textile and clothing industry.

March 2021

Blended fibres have always posed a problem for the textile industry. The processing of the blended fabric requires complex processes and makes recycling uneconomic. But that might change now that the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) and H&M Foundation have developed the Green Machine, a hydrothermal separating system for fibres, yarns and woven fabrics, achieving great progress for the textile and clothing industry. "The Green Machine is a technological milestone as well as an economical one. We are close to not only recycle blend textiles at scale but also making it affordable for all, killing the myth of sustainability being a costly compromise. We can’t settle for less than inclusive solutions if we’re serious about stopping climate change," says Erik Bang, Innovation Lead of H&M Foundation.

The environmental implications of disposable clothing are huge. According to a report from Global Fashion Agenda and Boston Consulting Group, some 80% of all clothing bought ends up on dumps or is burnt. This calls for circular solutions. And what makes the pilot project of HKRITA and H&M Foundation so promising. The first Green Machine compliant with industrial standards started production at the end of 2020 at facilities of Indonesian textile producer PT Kahatex. The machine processes some 1.5 million tons of material a day. Even though the parameters are to be improved to make future Green Machines work more smoothly and sustainably, there are already buyers. Monki is the first brand that is planning collections with fabrics recycled by the machine.

Sustainability and innovation are issues with ever-growing importance for the textile and clothing industry. That is why the efficient and sustainable processing of technical textiles, clothing fabrics and flexible materials is also at the top of the agenda of Techtextil and Texprocess from 21st to 24th June 2021. Together, the trade show duo covers the entire industry, from the production of fibres and yarns to functional textiles as well as production and finishing processes.

#Green Machine #Recycling #Blended fibres #Sustainability # Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel #H&M Foundation #PT Kahatex #Monki #Climate protection #Germany #Techtextil #Texprocess

Photo: H&M Foundation

Find more information here:

Press release: Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (2020). The Green Machine: Announcing a Milestone in Recycling by Hydrothermal Separation.
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