Textile Technology section
HKRITA: recycling by hydrothermal separation
For the recycling of blended textiles the hydrothermal separation system, the Green Machine, was developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), Hong Kong/China, in collaboration with the H&M Foundation, Stockholm/Sweden. The small-scale Green Machine was set up in Hong Kong in 2018 and now the first industrial scale system will be operational in PT Kahatex, Jakarta/Indonesia.
Garments are often made from a blend of different fibers to improve performance and comfort and to reduce cost. Yet this makes it difficult to recycle the blended materials. The result is most of these end up in landfills and incinerators. The hydrothermal separation system makes recycling of blended materials feasible by selectively decomposing cotton into cellulose powders, thereby enabling the separation of the polyester fibers from the blends. The whole process uses only heat, water and citric acid, a naturally occurring chemical found in lemon juice.
The processing capacity of the first industrial scale Green Machine is about 1.5 tons/day. PT Kahatex will start by using waste (fibers, yarn and fabric) from manufacturing as feedstock to produce garments. This pilot operation builds on the research in the separation of post-consumer apparel carried out in Hong Kong. The PT Kahatex operation will help optimize the parameters of the system.
The first fashion brand to use textile materials made from the Green Machine in their collection is Monki. The brand has announced its ambition to go ‘full circle’ in terms of sustainability, using the Green Machine system to create its first collection using recycled polyester from garments.
Kelheim Fibres: partner of ETP in strategic programs
The manufacturer of viscose specialty fibers Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Kelheim/Germany, has partnered with the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP), Brussels/Belgium, in 2 strategic programs: “Bio-Based Fibers” and “Circular Economy”.
Against the backdrop of the increasingly important sustainability debate, fundamental changes inside the textile supply chain are taking place. The two 3-year ETP programs “Bio-Based Fibers” and “Circular Economy” are a clear response to this. The goal is to bring key players from industry and science together to develop a long-term strategy to actively shape the sustainable realignment of the European textile industry.
Kelheim’s fibers are made from the renewable material wood and they are fully biodegradable at the end of their product lifecycle. As an alternative to crude-oil based materials, these fibers are becoming increasingly popular in various applications. Part of the reason for this is the fact that the specialty fibers can be functionalized during the production process to give them the exact properties that are required for different end uses. In terms of performance, they can keep up with synthetic materials.
Coats: Elcatex optimizes garment costings with GSDCost
As a part of its sustainability and innovation strategy, the vertically-integrated textile manufacturer Elcatex Group, San Pedro Sula/Honduras, chose GSDCost from the provider of software solutions Coats Digital Plc., Uxbridge/UK, to quantify and optimize manufacturing methods and garment costing.
As part of their innovation strategy, Elcatex made the decision to digitalize their garment costing process and standardize their operation in order to reach optimal costing and achieve a high level of manufacturing. Considering the wide range of products manufactured in the factory, it is important for the company to have accurate and consistent information within their business in order to make decisions related to time, cost, capacity and compliance.
GSDCost is a fact-based garment costing and method standardization solution, to be implemented in the industrial engineering department. It is designed to help establish and optimize standard production time, using standard motion codes and pre-determined times.