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Zara jacket made from 100% waste

BASF technology turns polyamide 6 waste into new, virgin-quality synthetic fibres and materials.

26th January 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Spain

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

With the launch of loopamid, a polyamide 6 made from 100% textile waste, BASF is providing the first circular solution for nylon apparel made entirely from textile waste.

Zara has produced a jacket made entirely from the new polymer, having taken a design for recycling approach, with all parts – including fabrics, buttons, filling, hook and loop and zipper – made from the new polymer.

The BASF recycling technology behind loopamid is said to be capable of tolerating fabric mixtures like PA6 and elastane in enabling the textile-to-textile recycling of post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste. The fibres and materials can be recycled multiple times with results identical to those of conventional virgin polyamide.

“BASF has reached an important milestone in pioneering an approach to closing the loop for nylon textiles,” said Dr Ramkumar Dhruva, president of BASF’s Monomers division. “Our loopamid has the potential to revolutionise the PA6 market for the better. We are in the process of scaling up our technology to serve our customers with commercial quantities. The capsule jacket produced together with Inditex is the proof that circularity is possible, and we are eager to further drive the sustainable transformation of the textile industry.” 

Inditex has partnered with other leading groups in the clothing manufacturing industry to seamlessly integrate loopamid into various garment components, including fabrics, zippers, buttons, fillings, hook and loop fasteners and sewing threads. ModaRe, a take-back programme operated by the charity organization Caritas, classified, sorted and provided discarded textiles as feedstock and Italy’s RadiciGroup has been working to transform loopamid polymer into various types of yarn with different characteristics.

YKK and Velcro have also played crucial roles in utilising loopamid polymer to create plastic components for zippers, snap buttons, and hook and loop fasteners. Uniter from Spain, Tessitura Vignetta from Italy and Freudenberg and Gütermann from Germany have also participated in this project to develop other garment components such as inner labels, filling materials and sewing threads using loopamid. 

“This collaboration is a great example of how we can use the new technology to transform textile waste into a new resource,” said Javier Losada, chief sustainability officer at Inditex. “This project is also a first step to moving towards a circular solution, as the industry still needs to boost new collecting and recycling capacities in order to scale recycling for post-consumer waste.”

Both BASF and Inditex have ambitious sustainability goals. By the year 2030, BASF aims to double its sales generated with solutions for the circular economy to €17 billion. To achieve this, the company is concentrating on three action areas – circular feedstocks, new material cycles and new business models.

Inditex aims to have 100% of its textile products made exclusively from materials with a smaller environmental footprint by 2030. As part of this commitment, the group expects to have 25% of the textile fibres it employs made from next-generation materials that do not yet exist at an industrial scale, 40% conventional recycled materials and 25% organic and regenerative fibres.

Polyamide 6, commonly known as nylon 6, is widely used in various applications due to its excellent mechanical properties and versatility. BASF is one of the leading manufacturers of polyamide 6 and its precursors, with production sites in Europe, Asia and North America.

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