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HKRITA Green Machine for Isko

Technology can fully separate and recycle cotton and polyester blends at scale.

7th July 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Gaziantep, Turkey


Isko, the denim manufacturer owned by Gaziantep, Turkey-headquartered Sanko Holding, is acquiring a licensing agreement for the award-winning Green Machine – the one-of-a-kind technology that fully separates and recycles cotton and polyester blends at scale developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA).

The technology is still at the pilot stage, but is an additional step in Isko’s drive to improve and commercialise recycling technologies which will eventually enable the it to offer a 100% post-consumer recycling solution to all of its customers. In addition, Isko and HKRITA will work together to develop related technology.

“Isko has a total commitment to sustainability and we are constantly looking for new ways of working towards the future of a fully circular fashion industry,” says Isko CEO, Fatih KonukoÄŸlu. “Our investment in this new technology is another milestone towards our full circularity vision,”

© Isko

The Green Machine employs an ultra-efficient hydrothermal treatment method that decomposes cotton into cellulose powders and enables the separation of polyester fibres from blended fabrics. The closed-loop process uses only water, heat and less than 5% biodegradable green chemicals.

Crucially, it does not damage the polyester fibres and therefore maintains their quality – the cellulose powders, which are clean and toxic-free, can be used in a variety of ways.

“The Green Machine is a ground-breaking recycling technology,” says Edwin Keh, HKRITA’s CEO. “Seeing this project become truly commercially viable is wonderful. We are excited to learn that Isko recognises our innovation and will apply this recycling solution to its production.”

The investment is the latest in Isko’s ongoing drive for advancements in sustainability. As part of the company’s R-Two programme, it is also working to develop fabrics with a guaranteed minimum 50% GRS (Global Recycle Standard) recycled content blend. This will significantly reduce the carbon and water footprint of a fabric, as well as make it easy for consumers to trace a garment’s sustainable journey from the beginning of the supply chain through to the end product they purchase.


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