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Healthy growth for Recot2

New spinning process for shorter fibres has paid dividends.

12th July 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Dietenheim, Germany

Sustainable, Clothing/​Footwear

Dietenheim, Germany-headquartered yarn spinner and dyer Gebr. Otto is anticipating that sales of its recot2 cotton yarn will double in 2021.

Recot2 has been developed in-house and consists of 25% recycled cotton with 75% GOTS-certified organic cotton.

As a result of its recycled content its has a smaller water and energy footprint than conventional cotton yarn. The potential saving is about 5,000 litres of water per kilogram of finished recot2 textile and 10-20% less energy consumption, along with reductions in emissions, acreage and pesticide use for new cotton growth, according to the company’s research partner, the University of Ulm.

Cotton is grown almost entirely in hot, dry countries and requires intensive irrigation. On average it takes between 10,000 and 17,000 litres of water, and in extreme cases up to 29,000 litres, to produce one kilogram of raw cotton.

“I was at a loss for words when I first became aware of these figures about 15 years ago and I decided to work on alternatives,” said Gebr. Otto managing director Andreas Merkel. “Our spool and selvedge waste generated during spinning and downstream processes is now treated and the fibres are separated for reintegration into the value chain.”

Gebr. Otto managing director Andreas Merkel. © Gebr. Otto

Reconciling the different fibre lengths of new and recycled fibre was a challenge. The fibre lengths of cotton range from 22 to over 38 mm. Ring spinning is designed to deal with this range, but recycled fibres are much shorter, and the company had to develop a new spinning process to manufacture recot2 .

“Technically, it would be possible to work with a recycling share of up to 50%, but  25% recycled fibre has proved its worth in quality and customer use,” Merkel said.

Recot2 yarn meets the compnay’s high quality standards and is a fixed feature, for example, in the Hugo Boss Responsible clothing capsule.

“Recot2 has been part of our product range for some time but has only really come into its own in the last three or four years,” Merkel concluded. “Evidently we were several years ahead of the zeitgeist.”

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