September 25, 2015

Finnish project fashions waste cotton into new fibre

Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre collects and pre-processes cotton textiles thrown away by consumers that could not be reused as clothing or used as material for recycled products.
Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre collects and pre-processes cotton textiles thrown away by consumers that could not be reused as clothing or used as material for recycled products.
Joonas Lumpeinen

A cellulose dissolution technique developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is transforming worn-out cotton clothing into new fibres for the textile industry.

Commencing operations at VTT’s Finnish pop-up plant in October, the Circular Economy of Textiles (TEKI) sees a group of Finnish organisations utilising cotton that otherwise could not be recycled. Compared to virgin cotton, this fresh approach also reduces the water footprint by more than 70 per cent, along with the carbon footprint by 40–50 per cent.

TEKI is to incorporate this new technique at all stages of the value chain until the end of 2016, when the first clothing line made of the new recycled fibres enjoys its debut.

Overall, the companies involved in the TEKI project seek to gauge consumers’ interest in operating models based on the principles of circular economy and recycled materials.

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