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Industry Talk

Polyester textile-to-textile trials in Europe

Powerful consortium aims to demonstrate circular systems at scale.

18th July 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Europe

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Accelerating Circularity Europe is moving into its first trials phase which will focus on post-consumer and post-industrial polyester textiles feedstocks as sources for both mechanically and chemically recycled new fibres. 

The organisation’s mission is to design and implement commercial systems in which textile waste is repurposed as new raw materials and for the last year, it has been working with partners to research, map and identify expertise and infrastructure to accelerate the move to circular systems

“According to the EU Commission Strategy, by 2030, textile products placed on the EU market will be long-lived and recyclable, and to a great extent made of recycled fibres,” said Karla Magruder, Accelerating Circularity founder and president. “The circular textiles ecosystem will be thriving, driven by sufficient capacities for innovative fibre-to-fibre recycling, while the incineration and landfilling of textiles will be reduced to the minimum. Our trials are completely aligned with this strategy.

“Our work has been based on the collaborative efforts of more than 80 members of our working groups representing all levels of the value chain from the EU-27, plus members from Norway, Switzerland, UK, Morocco and Turkey. Our goal with the textile-to-textile polyester trials is to demonstrate circular systems at scale so our participants will be able to really demonstrate the feasibility.”

Accelerating Circularity Europe’s system trials for polyester  partners include Amazon, Antex, Avery Dennison, Brav, Covation Biomaterials, Craghoppers, Elis Textil Service, Enviu, Erema Group, European Outdoor Group, Eurotex, GIZ/Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, Gr3n, Jack Wolfskin, Oberalp, Recyclatex, Reverse Resources, Sympatex, Texaid, Vaude, WWF and Zalando.

“To effectively close the loop of textile waste, at least national or even better international collection systems and infrastructures for end-of-life textiles have to be established,” said Martin Mayershofer, R&D manager at Sympatex. “Accelerating Circularity Europe systems trials for polyester will bring various players of a future circular textile value chain together to test and validate polyester fibre-to-fibre recycling at scale.”

“Accelerating Circularity Europe has brought together the top minds in the European design and textile markets to develop real, achievable solutions that will sustainably change the apparel industry for the better,” added Regina Goller, director of fabric and trim management apparel for Jack Wolfskin.

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