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Technology/Machinery

New recognition for HKRITA

Interactive system inspiring Hong Kong’s public to appreciate the value of recycling.

22nd April 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Hong Kong

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)’s Garment-to-Garment Recycling System (G2G) has claimed two more prestigious international design awards – the Gold Award of the iF Design Award 2022 in the Retail/Sales category in mid-April and the Good Design Awards 2021 (Retail Fitting) of The Chicago Athenaeum in December 2021.

Set up as a mini-factory at The Mills, a modern retail space in Hong Kong in 2018, the G2G is the world’s first post-consumer garment recycling system that operates in a retail space. It is a textile recycling line installed in a 40-foot container and enclosed in double glazing, which permits direct observation of the process that upcycles post-consumer clothes into clean and wearable new garments.

The iF Design Award is one of the most important design awards in Germany and this year attracted nearly 11,000 submissions from all over the world. Of the many submissions, only 73 finally obtained a Gold Award. To achieve this level of recognition, a submission must excel in terms of conceptualisation, form, function, differentiation and impact. G2G’s zero water use was commended as a sustainable upcycling solution.

“This ingenious system opens up the prospect of ad-hoc and on-site-recycling systems in a variety of locations,” the jury noted.

The G2G aims to expand system capacity, optimise functionality and automate more processes for recycling post-consumer garments more efficiently. © HKRITA

The G2G also won the Good Design Awards 2021 in the Retail Fitting category. Organised by The Chicago Athenaeum, an International Museum of Architecture and Design, this competition received over 1,100 submissions from more than 50 nations.

Mission

“We are honoured to receive the awards,” said Edwin Keh, CEO of HKRITA.  “Repurposing old clothes and bringing them to life is the mission of the G2G. Its unique design creates an interactive way to inspire the public to appreciate the value of recycling. The G2G is not only a feasible textile waste solution at the retail level, but is also valuable at the individual level, encouraging consumers to rethink the intrinsic value of their clothes and realise how they personally can play an important role in achieving sustainability in garment production.”

Algorithms

To expand the system capacity, optimise functionality and further automate the processes, the G2G has undergone Phase II development. In this phase, an AI algorithm has been developed to classify an incoming garment’s measurable properties. A vision classification algorithm has also been developed to estimate the settings of the parameters of the recycling process and automatically check whether fibres need to be reopened. G2G now has a 3-in-1 fibre processing system, which has increased its degree of automation and expanded its capacity. The system links up to a 3D body scanner, which measures customers to ensure that recycled garments fit well.

The G2G project is an Innovation and Technology Fund project. It is also sponsored by Novetex Textiles Limited and is carried out in collaboration with the H&M Foundation.

G2G has won a total of eight awards since its launch in 2018.

www.garment2garment.com

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