This initiative is turning old, worn-out cotton clothing into raw fibers for reuse in the textile industry, using a cellulose dissolution technique.
Recycling old cotton into new material has proven to be very challenging, as the recycled fibers are too short to be spun into new thread. The cellulose dissolution technique from the Relooping Fashion Initiative, however, allows for virtually unlimited recycling of cotton without the addition of harmful chemicals or new material. The process does not require the use of sulfur, avoiding environmental and occupational health risks in the production of new textiles. Cellulose dissolution reduces water usage by 70% and energy consumption by 50%, according to the company.
The technique has proven the ability to recycle cotton fibers for textile production, helping to reduce the consumption demand for new cotton. A pilot project is currently operating in Finland, with the first commercially available clothing lines made from 100% recycled fibers expected soon.
Why you should care
The decomposition of clothes in landfills releases methane and increases the risk of dyes and other chemicals leaching into the environment. The Relooping Fashion Initiative’s circular approach to recycling cotton fibers reduces textile waste and provides a valuable source of raw material for new clothes.