Turning Textile Waste into Feedstock
2019 kicked off the Working Group and Producer Network work with two exciting webinars focusing on the potential of non-rewearable garments to be transformed into high-quality feedstock for textile-to-textile recyclers.
A brand perspective: Producer Network Webinar - April 1 2019
After an exciting visit to the Fibersort, at Wieland Textiles together with Circle Economy, Alexandra Florea, Sustainability Delivery Manager at Marks & Spencer, joined us as the invited speaker to our first Producer Network meeting this year. To kick-off the meeting, the Fibersort project was introduced, project updates were presented clearly and participants appreciated the overview, as some of them were new to the project and had joined for the first time.
Afterwards, Alexandra shared her experience and perspective with recycled textiles and the end-of-use value chain. More specifically, she focused on M&S' partnership with Oxfam in the UK, described opportunities and challenges that arise from this work. Throughout her narrative there was a clear focus on giving value to the percentage of non-rewearable garments that are collected, and expressed that the Fibersort solves one essential part of this challenge.
Some of the main learnings resulting from this meeting were the need to open up the conversation between different actors in the value chain, as brands do not have the same knowledge that collectors, sorters have and vice versa. There is also a gap in the knowledge between the specifications that brands ask for and the solutions available, as well as the knowledge that sorters have on what could be solved in the design phase to prepare garments for cyclability.
Alexandra, through her positive outlook, encouraged other brands as well to start acting on this issue: "Start doing something is always better than standing still".
A collector/sorter perspective: Working Group Webinar - April 3 2019
The Working Group Webinar included the participation of project partner Simon Smedinga, Operational Director at Stichting Leger des Heils Reshare. He presented his extensive experience from Reshare, but also the experience throughout the Fibersort project, major developments, challenges and opportunities. The Fibersort project was also introduced during this meeting in case there were new participants and project updates were presented clearly to the participants by Hilde Van Duijn, Fibersort Project Manager.
The gap in the knowledge between the specifications required by brands and the access to this information by collectors, sorters, etc, arose again in this meeting, which provides insight into the lack of connection between these actors in the value chain, and exacerbates the relevance of connecting Fibersorted materials with the most suitable end-markets within the project.
We would like to thank both invited speakers for their time and insights, as well as all participants and look forward to having all of you on our next Webinars in June.