The Fibersort is a promising technology that can automatically sort post-consumer textiles by fibre type, but its success depends on being able to sell its outputs; these sorted post-consumer textiles. Without a demand for post-consumer textiles, there is no market for the Fibersort.
This report outlines the amount of post-consumer textiles that could potentially be Fibersorted and used as feedstock for textile-to-textile recycling. Recycling technologies often process feedstocks with a specific composition, so quantities of each fibre type are important to consider. It is also important to understand the costs of these post-consumer textiles, however, it must be noted that the prices for these materials may vary greatly - similar to virgin commodities. The report provides an indication.
Processing recycled content brings considerable environmental and social benefits. However, materials are traded throughout the supply chain and can rarely be tracked. In order to make claims on the recycled content of their products, brands and retailers often dependent upon certifications and standards. An overview of the main certification schemes for recycled content is therefore provided.
While the Fibersort project looks to commercialise a technology, it is much more than this. Fibersort has the ability to transform non-rewearable garments into feedstock for textile-to-textile recycling. To do so we must develop recycling technologies, support an industry where brands feel comfortable using post-consumer textiles as raw material to create new garments, and support the market transition through measuring, reporting and monitoring the current conditions for post-consumer textiles. This report is one step towards this goal.