We are very proud to welcome Wolkat, a one-of-a-kind player in the circular textiles arena, to our Circle Membership! Wolkat is a family-owned, textile-to-textile recycling company, and they are passionate about creating a world where post-consumer textile waste is no longer seen as waste, but as the valuable, raw material it can be.
Wolkat sorts and turns textiles into new textiles products for the fashion, car, and furniture industries — all under one roof. Their vertically-integrated process makes them a unique textile to textile recycling company in that they act across the entire supply chain, so that sorting, recycling, spinning, and weaving all happen inside their own factories.
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands holding a bouquet made of 100% recycled textiles from Wolkat
To give them a proper welcome into the Circle Economy community, we asked them five questions on their experience in textile recycling and the role of brands in the future of circular textiles:
What would your message to brands be?
Under the right conditions, there is most definitely a commercial solution for all textile waste. This starts much earlier than when clothes, for example, have already been worn and turned into “waste”. From design to marketing to sales to the collection of used clothing- there are so many aspects where brands can have a lot of positive influence, starting with the image they give of textiles to their consumers. But finding solutions is a two-way street, so there needs to be an open conversation between brands and textile recyclers to adopt the most practical, feasible approach.
Beyond using sustainability as a marketing tool, now’s the time for brands to start putting money where their mouth is.
What’s next for Wolkat?
Launching more products and getting involved in the market in order to really understand the needs and wishes of the various stakeholders in the textile market (e.g. brands, government, producers etc). We’re also constantly optimising our end-products and looking into which techniques and approaches will get everyone the best results.
Any new and exciting projects in the near future?
Yes! We have a lot of new projects coming up and our range of end-products is expanding every day. We are also generating a lot of data from the pilots and projects we work on, which is enabling us to build and offer a solid basis for (future) partners and collaborations.
What makes Wolkat unique?
Being the only company in the world that has the knowledge and actually does everything from sorting to producing end-products in-house. This way, we can offer both transparency and sustainable, quality results.
What has been your biggest learning so far?
That the possibilities are endless when it comes to textile recycling and making the textile industry more sustainable! But so are the challenges that need to be overcome. So you need to think outside the box and be extremely passionate, willing to take a leap of faith, and a little bit crazy in order to achieve hands-on results. Finding the right partner on the brand side of the story who shares these qualities is also key for further development.
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