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Swiss network supports Worn Again

Demonstration plant is being built in Winterthur, Switzerland, close to technology scale-up partner Sulzer Chemtech.

5th August 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Nottingham, United Kingdom

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a new initiative aiming to upscale the polymer recycling process technology of Worn Again Technologies (WAT), based in Nottingham, UK.

The new network comprises fabric and textile manufacturers, waste collectors and sorters, as well as retailers, brand owners and technology providers.

The partners will provide different types of textile waste to WAT’s demonstration plant, which is being built in Winterthur, Switzerland, close to technology scale-up partner Sulzer Chemtech, and will process 1,000 tons of material per year.

After advanced chemical processing, virgin-like recycled fibres, such as PET polyester and cellulose, will be provided to the same industry players to produce new high-quality fabrics.

The consortium will be composed of WAT’s main shareholders, Sulzer, Oerlikon and H&M Group. In addition, Rieter will support short-staple spinning, Monosuisse will take care of PET fibre production, Coop will act as retailer and Texaid will manage collection, sorting and provide feedstock together with Sallmann (ISA) and Serge Ferrari – all coordinated by Swiss Textiles.

The creation of the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem marks a key milestone in the upscaling of WAT’s recycling process technology and 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 fibres, textiles and other products.

“Launching the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem is a vision coming true,” says Erik Koep, CEO at WAT. “This leading group of like-minded organisations will help to shift the fashion industry from traditional, linear product lifecycle models to eco-conscious, circular material management. We believe that zero waste strategies can only become a reality if the entire sector is committed to acting as a whole. We see the Ecosystem as a way to align sustainability efforts across the whole textile value chain and as the next step towards a green fashion industry.”

“We look forward to working together with all members of the Swiss Textile Recycling Ecosystem,” adds Torsten Wintergerste, chairman of WAT and division president at Sulzer Chemtech. “Their support is extremely valuable and their trust in our project is much appreciated. The Ecosystem members will support our textile recycling demonstration facility by providing textile waste that can be used as feedstock. The collaboration will also play a key role in scaling up our capabilities and building a network to support the implementation of industrial-scale plants globally.”

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