Teardown and redesign: dis- and re-assembling textile blends in the circular economy

Updated : October 2020


  • Senior or top management
  • Textile and fashion designers
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals
  • Textile waste management professionals
This report explores the potential of Designing for disassembly (DfD) to enhance recyclability in blended textiles. The paper presents the creative textile designer as a potential driver for sustainable innovation which rather than suggesting end-of-pipe fixes, proposes to design waste out of the system from the outset. The approach used in the paper is through the creation of blend models as a tool for understanding, followed by free-flowing textile sampling in a redesign process, a thorough understanding of material combinations is distilled into creative textile design practice and leads to experimenting with new ways of constructing textile blends so that they may still be disassembled for recycling at the end-of-life. While a certain level of abstraction has been maintained in the sampling which, while it allows for the samples to serve as models for other practices, also removes them from the reality of recycling systems and the resources that they can take in. The findings of the paper include the validation of the use of DfD within the material itself is conducive to ease of recycling but also in adding functionality or extending the use cycle of products facilitated through the retention of blends. These models offer new ways of thinking about material combinations at the textile level and the design-focused perspective allows for the inclusion of these within a creative textile design practice which can be artisanal or industry-driven.

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