Over 20 million tonnes of post-consumer textiles are landfilled across Europe and North America every year simply because these items have reached the end of their first use phase. This excess provides an incredible opportunity to apply circular strategies to the industry in order to capture the inherent value of textiles, displace the use of virgin fibres upstream, and eliminate textile waste downstream.
The Fibersort is a technology that automatically sorts large volumes of mixed post-consumer textiles by fibre type. Once sorted, these materials become reliable, consistent input materials for high-value textile to textile recyclers.
High-value recycling technologies can transition low-value waste into new, high-value textiles, and they are a critical link in the circular supply chain. Therefore, the Fibersort is a key technology that will enable textile resources to cycle repeatedly through the supply chain. Once commercialized, it will create a tipping point for a new, circular textile industry.
We are working with the Fibersort Project Partners and a broad range of industry stakeholders to commercialize the technology and publicly release information that will accelerate the transition to circularity. The Fibersort project is made possible through Interreg NWE funding.
The End Markets for Fibersorted Materials
In the textiles recycling landscape, more and more high-value recyclers are popping up and existing technologies are scaling up their production. To ensure Fibersorted post-consumer textile waste finds its way to these recyclers, the Fibersort project has mapped the high-value recyclers landscape, providing more insight into the current and potential end markets. The overview of high-value recyclers and the types of materials that they process are available open-source.
We encourage all organisations to enrich this document by providing feedback, suggesting other high-value recyclers or more detailed information on their operations. Please reach out to: email@example.com with your suggestions. This document will be regularly updated until project end in March 2020.
*This research builds on publicly available information on recycler’s websites or reports.
We are actively seeking textile collectors and sorters, recycling technologies, brands and retailers, and other circular textiles projects to join our team of collaborators.