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29.09.2022

CISUTAC: New European innovation project on circular & sustainable textiles

Launched this September, the new Horizon Europe project CISUTAC will support the transition to a circular and sustainable textile sector. As part of a consortium of 27 partners working on the project, TEXAID will among others support the project with sorting, disassembly and repair trials.

The production and consumption of textile products continue to grow, together with their impact on the environment, due to a lack of reuse, repair and recycling of materials. Quality, durability, and recyclability are often not being set as priorities in the design and manufacturing of clothing (EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, March 2022).  

CISUTAC aims to remove current bottlenecks in order to increase textile circularity in Europe. The objective is to minimise the sector’s total environmental impact by developing sustainable, novel, and inclusive large-scale European value chains.  

Launched this September, the new Horizon Europe project CISUTAC will support the transition to a circular and sustainable textile sector. As part of a consortium of 27 partners working on the project, TEXAID will among others support the project with sorting, disassembly and repair trials.

The production and consumption of textile products continue to grow, together with their impact on the environment, due to a lack of reuse, repair and recycling of materials. Quality, durability, and recyclability are often not being set as priorities in the design and manufacturing of clothing (EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, March 2022).  

CISUTAC aims to remove current bottlenecks in order to increase textile circularity in Europe. The objective is to minimise the sector’s total environmental impact by developing sustainable, novel, and inclusive large-scale European value chains.  

The project will cover most parts of the textile sector by working on two material groups representing almost 90% of all textile fibre materials (polyester, and cotton/cellulosic fibres), and focusing on products from three sub-sectors experiencing varying circularity bottlenecks (fashion garments, sports and outdoor goods, and workwear).  

CISUTAC will follow a holistic approach covering the technical, sectoral and socio-economic aspects, and will perform three pilots to demonstrate the feasibility and value of:

  • Repair and disassembly
  • Sorting (for reuse and recycling)
  • Circular garments through fibre-to-fibre recycling and design for circularity

To realise these pilots, the consortium partners will:

  • Develop semi-automated workstations
  • Analyse the infrastructure and material flows
  • Digitally enhance sorting operations (for reuse and recycling)
  • Raise awareness among the consumers and the textile industry

As part of the CISUTAC consortium, TEXAID, will conduct different trials of sorting, repair, and disassembly, and be active in the LCA and Standardisation work packages.

Source:

TEXAID Textilverwertungs-AG

(c) Texaid
21.09.2022

TEXAID installs intelligent sorting stations from circular.fashion

Digital Product Passports can now be processed at TEXAID’s largest sorting facility, thanks to circular.fashion’s intelligent sorting stations, which use RFID and NFC technology to improve the quality and consistency of manual sorting.

Digital Product Passports (DPP) have been recognised by the EU as an enabler for circular fashion and textiles. Technology company circular.fashion has been a leader in this effort, releasing the circularity.ID in 2018 and developing Intelligent Sorting Stations to bring ID based sorting to the textile reuse and recycling industry.

ID based sorting optimises the manual sorting process for reuse and recycling by giving sorters data to make decisions more accurately and consistently. TEXAID has, by adopting this technology, increased Europe’s capacity to process DPPs.

Digital Product Passports can now be processed at TEXAID’s largest sorting facility, thanks to circular.fashion’s intelligent sorting stations, which use RFID and NFC technology to improve the quality and consistency of manual sorting.

Digital Product Passports (DPP) have been recognised by the EU as an enabler for circular fashion and textiles. Technology company circular.fashion has been a leader in this effort, releasing the circularity.ID in 2018 and developing Intelligent Sorting Stations to bring ID based sorting to the textile reuse and recycling industry.

ID based sorting optimises the manual sorting process for reuse and recycling by giving sorters data to make decisions more accurately and consistently. TEXAID has, by adopting this technology, increased Europe’s capacity to process DPPs.

The installation and testing of TEXAID’s new Intelligent Sorting Stations was completed successfully shortly before the holiday period. Initial test results indicate that ID based sorting can make sorting decisions more reliable and more consistent. The team also sees a potential for ID based sorting to reduce training costs for new employees and maximise the value of their sorting decisions. This advancement was made through the CIRTEX project, funded through the KMU Innovativ funding programme from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The Intelligent Sorting Stations at TEXAID are now operational, and brands and retailers have the ability to adopt the circularity.ID as a Digital Product Passport and have textile products returned to TEXAID for ID based sorting.

10.08.2022

Launch of international in-store collection program at Mustang

Today’s system of «take – make – waste» needs to change. New textiles are produced used and discarded instead of putting them to a second use. The production of new textiles requires natural resources that are limited, and the current system has a significant negative impact on our planet. The transition to a circular system, where garments are kept in use for longer, is an opportunity to harness untapped potential around customer loyalty, economic growth, and ecological sustainability.

To move away from the linear system and enable products to be made out of post-consumer textile waste, TEXAID continues to expand its offering for in-store collection programs throughout Europe and the USA.

TEXAID is partnering with Mustang to offer an in-store collection program. At scale and paired with TEXAID, in-store collection of used clothing enables conservation of resources because it allows items to be directly sorted for their next and most environmentally friendly lifecycle. This service can now be found in over 70 Mustang stores across Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Today’s system of «take – make – waste» needs to change. New textiles are produced used and discarded instead of putting them to a second use. The production of new textiles requires natural resources that are limited, and the current system has a significant negative impact on our planet. The transition to a circular system, where garments are kept in use for longer, is an opportunity to harness untapped potential around customer loyalty, economic growth, and ecological sustainability.

To move away from the linear system and enable products to be made out of post-consumer textile waste, TEXAID continues to expand its offering for in-store collection programs throughout Europe and the USA.

TEXAID is partnering with Mustang to offer an in-store collection program. At scale and paired with TEXAID, in-store collection of used clothing enables conservation of resources because it allows items to be directly sorted for their next and most environmentally friendly lifecycle. This service can now be found in over 70 Mustang stores across Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Poland.

More information:
Texaid Mustang circularity
Source:

TEXAID

13.07.2022

Texaid: Neue Textilien aus recycelten Fasern

Seit mehr als sieben Jahren forscht Texaid, das seinen Deutschland-Sitz im hessischen Darmstadt hat, daran, wie textile Altfasern und Abfälle vor dem Verbrennen bewahrt und weiterverwendet werden können. Deswegen arbeitet das Unternehmen unter anderem mit Partnern aus der Industrie, dem Recyclingatelier ITA Augsburg von der RWTH Aachen, vertreten von Prof. Dr. Stefan Schlichter, und der Hochschule Augsburg, vertreten von Prof. Dr. Nadine Warkotsch, unter anderem Vizepräsidentin für Forschung und Nachhaltigkeit, an Verfahren, mit denen auch textile Abfälle länger im Verwertungskreislauf gehalten werden können.

Die Basis für diese Forschungen bildet auch das Werk in Apolda. Dort werden täglich rund 350.000 Kleidungsstücke und andere Textilien sortiert. Bei vielen Textilien ist es nicht möglich, sie als Ganzes im Verwertungskreislauf zu halten. Sie werden deswegen sortenrein sortiert, um ein Recycling ihrer Fasern zu ermöglichen.

Seit mehr als sieben Jahren forscht Texaid, das seinen Deutschland-Sitz im hessischen Darmstadt hat, daran, wie textile Altfasern und Abfälle vor dem Verbrennen bewahrt und weiterverwendet werden können. Deswegen arbeitet das Unternehmen unter anderem mit Partnern aus der Industrie, dem Recyclingatelier ITA Augsburg von der RWTH Aachen, vertreten von Prof. Dr. Stefan Schlichter, und der Hochschule Augsburg, vertreten von Prof. Dr. Nadine Warkotsch, unter anderem Vizepräsidentin für Forschung und Nachhaltigkeit, an Verfahren, mit denen auch textile Abfälle länger im Verwertungskreislauf gehalten werden können.

Die Basis für diese Forschungen bildet auch das Werk in Apolda. Dort werden täglich rund 350.000 Kleidungsstücke und andere Textilien sortiert. Bei vielen Textilien ist es nicht möglich, sie als Ganzes im Verwertungskreislauf zu halten. Sie werden deswegen sortenrein sortiert, um ein Recycling ihrer Fasern zu ermöglichen.

Seit einigen Monaten wird dies durch innovative Technik unterstützt. So wurden zu Testzwecken einzelne Arbeitsplätze hochtechnisiert. Neben Nah-Infrarot-Scannern zur Analyse der stofflichen Zusammensetzungen der Textilien ist ein Arbeitsplatz mit einem NFC-Lesegerät ausgestattet. „So können wir bereits heute digitale Produktpässe von Textilien auslesen“, so Texaid-Geschäftsführer Thomas Böschen. Um die Recycling-Quote zu erhöhen, plant die EU, künftig jedes Textil mit Chips auszustatten, die Informationen über Herstellung, Zusammensetzung und Möglichkeit der Weiterverwertung geben.

Texaid hat eine Shoppingtasche als erstes eigenes Produkt mit einem solchen Chip ausgestattet. Die Tasche besteht zu 50 Prozent aus Garnen von recycelten Alttextilien und zu 50 Prozent aus Polyesterfasern, die aus Ozeanplastik hergestellt wurden.

 

More information:
Texaid Recycling Recyclingfasern
Source:

Texaid

27.06.2022

Transforming textile waste into feedstock

Europe has a 7-7.5-million-ton waste problem, of which only 30-35% is collected today. The ReHubs initiative launched in 2020 has now completed a Techno Economic Master Study (TES) and it sheds light on key figures and options to collaborate to solve the European waste problem.

In two and a half year all EU member states are obliged to separately collect textile waste. Currently there are no large-scaled plans to use that waste.  The largest portion of the waste (around 85%) comes from households.

Europe has a 7-7.5-million-ton waste problem, of which only 30-35% is collected today. The ReHubs initiative launched in 2020 has now completed a Techno Economic Master Study (TES) and it sheds light on key figures and options to collaborate to solve the European waste problem.

In two and a half year all EU member states are obliged to separately collect textile waste. Currently there are no large-scaled plans to use that waste.  The largest portion of the waste (around 85%) comes from households.

The ReHubs initiative brings together key European and world players to solve the textile waste problem by transforming “waste” into a resource and to boost textile circular business models at large scale. The completed TES has accessed critical information on solving the European waste problem. It is estimated that to reach a collection rate from 18 to 26 percent by 2030, 7 billion euro will be needed. Once matured and scaled, the textile recycling industry could become a profitable industry with a total market size of 6-8 billion € and around 15,000 direct new jobs by 2030. As a first step the ReHubs Initiative announces different actions forwards, including projects on this pathway, which one is to transform textile waste into feedstock.

TEXAID has been supporting ReHubs since the start and contributed significantly involved to the Business Council and the Steering Committee of the initiative. As strongly committed industry leader TEXAID is taking the lead on the project to transform textile waste into feedstock for recycling processes. In order to handle the increasing quantities of post-consumer textile waste a massive scale up of sorting and preparation for recycling of used textiles is needed. TEXAID is committed to lead the work on developing new technologies and building up additional capacities for the handling and preparing of textile waste for textile recycling in Europe. In a first phase this involves the built up of a new sorting and pre-processing facility with the capacity of 50’00 tons p.a. by 2024.

More information:
ReHubs Texaid
Source:

TEXAID

Euratex
24.06.2022

EURATEX’s ReHubs initiative: Fiber-to-fiber recycling

The ReHubs initiative brings together key European and world players to solve the European textile waste problem by transforming “waste” into a resource, and to boost textile circular business model at large scale.

This collaboration is set to turn the societal textile waste issue into a business opportunity and to fulfil the EU ambitions of the Green Deal, of the mandatory texile waste collection by end 2024 and the transition into Circular Economy.

In 2020 EURATEX launched the ReHubs initiative to promote collaboration across the extended textile value chain and considering all perspectives on chemicals, fibers making, textiles making, garments production, retail and distribution, textiles waste collection, sorting and recycling.

In June 2022 ReHubs completes a Techno Economic master Study (TES) which researches critical information on the feedstock (textile waste) data, on technology, organizational and financial needs to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030 and to effectively launch the ReHubs.

The ReHubs initiative brings together key European and world players to solve the European textile waste problem by transforming “waste” into a resource, and to boost textile circular business model at large scale.

This collaboration is set to turn the societal textile waste issue into a business opportunity and to fulfil the EU ambitions of the Green Deal, of the mandatory texile waste collection by end 2024 and the transition into Circular Economy.

In 2020 EURATEX launched the ReHubs initiative to promote collaboration across the extended textile value chain and considering all perspectives on chemicals, fibers making, textiles making, garments production, retail and distribution, textiles waste collection, sorting and recycling.

In June 2022 ReHubs completes a Techno Economic master Study (TES) which researches critical information on the feedstock (textile waste) data, on technology, organizational and financial needs to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030 and to effectively launch the ReHubs.

EURATEX’s ReHubs initiative plans to pursue fiber-to-fiber recycling for 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030
According ReHubs Techno Economic Master Study (TES), the textile recycling industry could generate in Europe around 15,000 direct new jobs by 2030, and increase need for nearshoring and reshoring of textile manufacturing.

The textile recycling industry in Europe could reach economic, social and environmental benefits for €3.5 billion to €4.5 billion by 2030
“Transform Waste into Feedstock” announced as first project supported by the ReHubs, and aiming at building up a first 50,000 tons capacity facility by 2024.

Europe has a 7-7.5 million tons textile waste problem, of which only 30-35% is collected today.  

Based on the ambitious European Waste law, all EU Member States must separately collect the textile waste in 2 years and half. While some countries are designing schemes to face the waste collection challenge, currently no large-scale plan exist to process the waste.

The largest source of textile waste (85%) comes from private households and approximately 99% of the textile waste was made using virgin fibers.

Euratex  assesses that to reach a fiber-to-fiber recycling rate of around 18 to 26 percent by 2030, a capital expenditure investment in the range of 6 billion € to 7 billion € will be needed, particularly to scale up sufficient sorting and processing infrastructure. The economic, social, and environmental value which could be realized, potentially total an annual impact of €3.5-4.5 billion by 2030.

Once matured and scaled, the textile recycling industry could become a profitable industry with a total market size of 6-8 billion € and around 15,000 direct new jobs by 2030.

Next steps of the ReHubs initiative

  • A European textile recycling roadmap proposing Objectives and Key Results to recycle fiber-to-fiber 2.5 million of textile waste by 2030
  • A leading collaboration hub with large players and SMEs from across an extended European textile recycling value chain
  • A first concrete portfolio of 4 launching projects:
    - Transform textile waste into feedstock
    - Increase the adoption of mechanically recycled fibers in the value chain
    - Expand capacity by solving technical challenges for thermo-mechanical textiles recycling
    - Create capsule collection with post-consumer recycled products

The 1st project addresses current sorting technologies which have limits to identify materials with sufficient accuracy for the subsequent circular recycling processes. The “Transform Waste into Feedstock” project will focus on further developing and scaling such sorting technologies. The project group led by Texaid AG aims on building up a first 50,000 tons facility by the end 2024.

Source:

Euratex

Texaid
15.06.2022

TEXAID supports the Swiss textile recycling ecosystem with professional collecting and sorting of textiles

TEXAID as a professional collector and sorter with roots in Switzerland contributes to this ecosystem to enable the textile-to-textile recycling.  The creation of Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem marks a key milestone in the upscaling of Worn Again Technologies’ recycling process technology with technology scale-up partner Sulzer Chemtech in Winterthur. It also supports its ambition to create a circular economy where non-reusable, hard-to-recycle textiles can be reintroduced into supply chains to become new fibers.

To cause a paradigm shift in the fashion industry and realize true circularity requires all members of the value chain to be on the same page and working towards the same goals. The Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a network comprising fabric and textile manufacturers, waste collectors and sorters, as well as retailers, brand owners and technology providers – all coordinated by Swiss Textiles. All these parties will cooperate to make their shared vision of a more sustainable fashion industry a reality, where used textiles can be recycled into new textiles.

TEXAID as a professional collector and sorter with roots in Switzerland contributes to this ecosystem to enable the textile-to-textile recycling.  The creation of Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem marks a key milestone in the upscaling of Worn Again Technologies’ recycling process technology with technology scale-up partner Sulzer Chemtech in Winterthur. It also supports its ambition to create a circular economy where non-reusable, hard-to-recycle textiles can be reintroduced into supply chains to become new fibers.

To cause a paradigm shift in the fashion industry and realize true circularity requires all members of the value chain to be on the same page and working towards the same goals. The Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a network comprising fabric and textile manufacturers, waste collectors and sorters, as well as retailers, brand owners and technology providers – all coordinated by Swiss Textiles. All these parties will cooperate to make their shared vision of a more sustainable fashion industry a reality, where used textiles can be recycled into new textiles.

TEXAID as a stakeholder in the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem and as leading textile recycling company with over 40 years of experience will support the initiative through collecting, sorting, pre-processing and providing pre- and post-consumer feedstock to the Demonstration Plant. At its headquarters in Schattdorf (CH), TEXAID will investigate possibilities to automate the sorting and pre-processing of textile feedstock for recycling. Currently, TEXAID processes more than 80,000 tons of end-of-use textiles and footwear every year all over Europe and the US.

More information:
Texaid Sulzer textile recycling
Source:

Texaid

08.06.2022

TEXAID enables Circularity Project R[ECO]LLECT

TEXAID with its Spanish subsidiary PERCENTIL enable Springfield to put its commitment to sustainability into action through implementing a circularity pilot project with the aim of giving a second life to second-hand garments. As part of the Tendam Group, who operates more than 2000 stores in 79 countries, Springfield partners with the TEXAID group, leading in the industry of collecting, sorting, reselling and recycling used garments, to launch the R[ECO]LLECT initiative.

Take-Back Program R[ECO]LLECT
With "the future is circular" as their call to action, the project is called R[ECO]LLECT and refers directly to the collection of all second-hand garments in good condition, to meet three clear sustainability objectives of Springfield: reduce the pressure on natural resources, reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the amount of textile waste.

R[ECO]LLECT was launched in May 2022 as a pilot project in 16 Springfield stores in Spain across different cities and provinces.

TEXAID with its Spanish subsidiary PERCENTIL enable Springfield to put its commitment to sustainability into action through implementing a circularity pilot project with the aim of giving a second life to second-hand garments. As part of the Tendam Group, who operates more than 2000 stores in 79 countries, Springfield partners with the TEXAID group, leading in the industry of collecting, sorting, reselling and recycling used garments, to launch the R[ECO]LLECT initiative.

Take-Back Program R[ECO]LLECT
With "the future is circular" as their call to action, the project is called R[ECO]LLECT and refers directly to the collection of all second-hand garments in good condition, to meet three clear sustainability objectives of Springfield: reduce the pressure on natural resources, reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the amount of textile waste.

R[ECO]LLECT was launched in May 2022 as a pilot project in 16 Springfield stores in Spain across different cities and provinces.

TEXAID’s Spanish subsidiary PERCENTIL is a strategic partner of Springfield in this step towards sustainability. The motto of PERCENTIL is that "there is nothing more sustainable than what you already have in your closet", and it is an intermediary between people who want to get rid of clothes and those who are looking to buy almost new clothes from brands recognized for their design and quality, but at a much lower price. In this way, textile overproduction is reduced, and the environmental impact is reduced. In addition, PERCENTIL receives the clothes, sorts them and takes care of giving them a second life.

More information:
Texaid Springfield circularity
Source:

Texaid

Photo: Texaid
07.06.2022

TEXAID enables Textile-to-Textile Recycling

As a leading company in the collecting, sorting, reselling and recycling of post-consumer textile waste, TEXAID has enabled the recycling of post-consumer textile waste into new textiles and clothing. After two years of development, the company has developed a fabric including 50 % of post-consumer textile waste from used clothing, collected and prepared for recycling by TEXAID.

Today’s linear system of «take – make – waste» needs to change. New textiles are produced, used and discarded instead of putting them to a second use. The production of new textiles requires natural resources that are limited, and the current system has a significant negative impact on our planet. The transition to a circular system, where garments are kept in use for longer, is an opportunity to harness untapped potential around customer loyalty, economic growth, and ecological sustainability.

To move away from the linear system and enable products to be made out of post-consumer textile waste, TEXAID invested in the textile-to-textile recycling and product development.

As a leading company in the collecting, sorting, reselling and recycling of post-consumer textile waste, TEXAID has enabled the recycling of post-consumer textile waste into new textiles and clothing. After two years of development, the company has developed a fabric including 50 % of post-consumer textile waste from used clothing, collected and prepared for recycling by TEXAID.

Today’s linear system of «take – make – waste» needs to change. New textiles are produced, used and discarded instead of putting them to a second use. The production of new textiles requires natural resources that are limited, and the current system has a significant negative impact on our planet. The transition to a circular system, where garments are kept in use for longer, is an opportunity to harness untapped potential around customer loyalty, economic growth, and ecological sustainability.

To move away from the linear system and enable products to be made out of post-consumer textile waste, TEXAID invested in the textile-to-textile recycling and product development.

Collaboration enables recycling
After two years of research, product development, and most important, building partnerships in the value chain, TEXAID has been able to develop a fabric made of 100 % recycled fiber in close collaboration with our value chain partners.

The fabric is a blend of 50 % post-consumer textile waste that TEXAID has collected in Germany and Switzerland. White cotton textiles which cannot be worn, have been sorted out in a sorting facility in Apolda, Germany. The other 50% is made from ocean-bound plastic waste which is plastic with a high risk of entering the ocean which has been saved and recycled by Unifi. The fabric and bag have been produced in Italy. The cotton material has been shredded by Marchi & Fildi in Biella, IT, who then spun the recycled cotton and recycled polyester fibers into a yarn. This yarn has been woven into a fabric by Tessitura Casoni.T.F.C.

Through this proof of concept, it has been showcased that making fabrics of 100 % recycled content and with 50 % of post-consumer textiles is possible. TEXAID is looking for strong industry partners to push high-value textile to textile recycling technologies in joint projects like these.

More information:
Texaid Recycling
Source:

Texaid

Hochschule Luzern und Texaid erforschen, wie gesammelte Kleidung besser recycelt werden kann (c) Tina Tomovic
Texcycle Herstellung Garn für Prototyp.
06.11.2019

Vom alten Pulli zum neuen Teppich

Hochschule Luzern und Texaid erforschen, wie gesammelte Kleidung besser recycelt werden kann

Über ein Drittel der gesammelten Altkleider können höchstens noch als Putzlappen oder Reisswolle wiederverwendet werden. Texaid und Forschende der Hochschule Luzern wollen den textilen Kreislauf nun weiter schliessen. Es hat sich gezeigt: Aus Alttextilien lassen sich Garn und Vlies für neue Teppiche und Dämmstoffe herstellen.

Hochschule Luzern und Texaid erforschen, wie gesammelte Kleidung besser recycelt werden kann

Über ein Drittel der gesammelten Altkleider können höchstens noch als Putzlappen oder Reisswolle wiederverwendet werden. Texaid und Forschende der Hochschule Luzern wollen den textilen Kreislauf nun weiter schliessen. Es hat sich gezeigt: Aus Alttextilien lassen sich Garn und Vlies für neue Teppiche und Dämmstoffe herstellen.

Texaid sammelt in der Schweiz jährlich rund 37 000 Tonnen Altkleider und sorgt dafür, dass diese ökologisch sinnvoll wiederverwendet werden. 30 Prozent der gesammelten Textilien sind in zu schlechtem Zustand, um sie als Secondhand-Kleidung weiterzutragen – Tendenz steigend, da der Trend hin zu billigen und billig produzierten Kleidern anhält. Die Frage war: Lassen sich diese Textilien hochwertig recyceln? Forscherinnen und Forscher der Hochschule Luzern und Texaid entwickelten Methoden, um die Altkleidung in der Schweiz zu einem groben Garn zu verspinnen, das sich gut für Teppiche eignet. Aus den kürzeren Fasern und sogar aus dem Staub, der beim Reissen der Stoffe entsteht, stellten Designforscher und Materialforscherinnen Prototypen her, die beispielsweise zur Schalldämmung genutzt werden könnten.

Prozesse analysiert, Anwendungen optimiert

Texaid verfolgt den «Close the Loop»-Ansatz: Sie will textile Kreisläufe nachhaltig und ganzheitlich schliessen und für den Rohstoff aus Altkleidern neue und auch höherwertige Verwendungen finden. Sie hat dafür das Projekt «Texcycle» ins Leben gerufen, eine Zusammenarbeit von Texaid, der Hochschule Luzern und Coop, gefördert durch Innosuisse.

Eine designgetriebene Forschung bot die Möglichkeit, die hochkomplexe Nachhaltigkeitsproblematik der textilen Kreisläufe neu anzugehen. Dafür mussten die Forschenden folgende Fragen beantworten: Welche textilen Materialien liegen nach heutigen Sortiermöglichkeiten der Altkleideraufbereitung vor? Wie lassen sie sich auf welche Art und Weise neu verarbeiten? Wie könnte eine Produktepalette mit neu gewonnenen Materialien aus Alttextilien aussehen?

Nicht nur nach Kleidungsart, sondern auch nach Material trennen

In einem ersten Schritt analysierten die Forscherinnen und Forscher die Prozesse der Altkleideraufbereitung und optimierten sie für neue Anwendungen. «Bisher werden die gesammelten Kleider nach Kleidungsart – z.B. Männerhemd, Damenhose, Mantel – sortiert», erklärt Anna Pehrsson, Recycling Solutions Specialist bei Texaid. Für eine bessere Weiterverwendung spielt aber das Material der Kleidung eine grössere Rolle; nach diesen Kriterien wird derzeit kaum getrennt.

Derzeit wird ein nicht mehr tragbarer Pullover aus Baumwolle zu Putzlappen verarbeitet, obwohl sein Material in hochwertigen Produkten gefragt wäre. Das wollen die Forscherinnen und Forscher ändern. «Wir haben vorgeschlagen, sechs Materialkategorien einzuführen», sagt Brigitt Egloff, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Departement Design & Kunst. So liessen sich beispielsweise Produkte mit einem hohen Baumwollanteil gesondert sortieren. Denn je reiner ein Material ist, umso leichter lassen sich Weiterverwendungsmöglichkeiten finden.

Teppichprototyp

In der Wollspinnerei Huttwil AG wurden Materialien zu Faden versponnen. Dabei stellte sich heraus, dass die besten Resultate erzielt werden, wenn das recycelte Material aus den Altkleidern mit Wollabfällen aus der Spinnerei kombiniert wird. So lässt sich ein 100%-Recycling-Garn herstellen und der grobe Faden zu Teppichen weiterverarbeiten. Erste Prototypen sehen vielversprechend aus.

Recycelte Kleidung als Dämmmaterial

Auch die Designforscher von Design & Kunst und die Materialforscher des Departements Technik & Architektur können erste Prototypen vorweisen. Sie nutzten die kurzen Fasern zur Herstellung von Vlies, einer losen, nicht gewebten Verbindung von Fasern, und entwickelten verschiedene Anwendungsmöglichkeiten als Dämmmaterialien. Diese können vor allem im Bereich der Schalldämmung von Innenräumen oder von Fassaden Verwendung finden. Eine Schwierigkeit dabei: «Die technischen Anforderungen an Bauprodukte in der Architektur haben strenge Auflagen und Normen zu erfüllen. Gegensätzliches trifft bei Bekleidung oder textilen Ausstattungen zu», sagt Materialforscherin Susanne Triller und Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Departement Technik & Architektur. Damit das Material im Bau verwendet werden darf, muss bewiesen sein, dass es schadstofffrei ist und als nicht brandgefährlich zertifiziert werden kann.

In einem Folgeprojekt könnten nun Wege gefunden werden, aus Alttextilien auch feine Garne zu spinnen – so fein, dass aus ihnen wieder neue Kleider hergestellt werden können.