We hear so much about how bad the apparel industry is, however there is so much great work happening in textiles today. Picture a room full of European research projects, innovators, industry leaders, and policy-makers eager to present their work and discuss a better future. This is an inspiring scene for someone deeply entangled in transforming the linear system, and it is exactly what the Fibersort team found at the European Technology Platform (ETP) conference in Brussels on 30-31 March.
ETP's Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda for the European Textile and Clothing Industry (Oct. 2016) stands on four key themes: Advanced Materials, Digitisation, Sustainability, and New Growth Markets. These were presented during the conference's opening remarks along with a strong and critical call for collaboration. Circle Economy's presentation on the Fibersort technology was included in the following session, and ETP's four themes and call to action were a perfect lead in to our message.
The Fibersort can be an incredible accelerant for closing the loop -- something that will help the sustainable textile sector grow significantly. By automatically sorting finished textile products according to composition, it solves a key bottleneck in returning non-rewearable garments to the supply chain. Collaboration to bring the Fibersort to market is key, so the team is asking other projects and industry stakeholders to work with us as we create standards and engage key players to help build a strong foundation for circular textiles. This collaboration and common ground has the ability catalyse the transition to a more sustainable, circular industry. The message was well received.
Project partner Valvan brought the demo machine to Brussels to show the group how the technology works. Attendees got to see the Fibersort scanner in action and talk to the equipment expert in person. Today the machine can identify fiber types and colors, and Valvan is preparing the production volume demo unit to deliver to Smart Fibersorting's facility later this month.
Stay tuned for more updates on Fibersort. Want to collaborate? We are looking for industry input to further develop this project!