Infinite synthetic textile fiber recycling

The two main recycling pathways currently for textiles are physical and chemical pathways. Physical recycling methods tend to diminish the fiber quality making it less attractive to be used for clothing and apparel. Chemical recycling fares better in this context but even in this case, the fibers can perhaps go through a only few cycles of such recycling before they reach the end of their useful life.

Some recent advances use molecular pathways for recycling in which the textile materials (especially synthetics such as polyester) are converted into their basic building molecules and thus they can be built back into the original fiber - in theory, an infinite number of times.
 

Stakeholders

Textile and fashion designers

Textile industry sustainability professionals

Textile waste management professionals

Vital Stats

How does it work?

Textile fibers can be recycled only a finite number of times post which their quality is degraded to such a level that they need to be disposed of in a landfill or incinerated.

Newer pathways that convert the fibers into their fundamental molecules or components open the possibilities for infinite recycling of these fibers.
 

Sustainability benefits

Infinite recycling or potential to recycle for a very large number of cycles has the potential to dramatically reduce textile waste going to landfills and also decrease the overall carbon footprint for apparel production

Highlights/USP

Energy requirements for processes that promise such infinite recycling needs to be looked at, to ensure that it is not large enough to offset the gains
 

Stage of commercialization

Early stage

Types of professionals who can improve the solution

Mechanical engineers, Chemical engineers, Textile designers

Specifically relevant to any geography?

Nil

Decarbonization Potential

Moderate-high

Value Chain

Product end of life ,

Web Resources

Eastman employs molecular recycling

Molecular recycling is a vital complement to mechanical recycling. When thinking about recycling, Eastman sees the goal as using materials at the end of their life to create new materials, not energy or fuel.

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Infinited Fiber

Infinite fiber proposes to have the solution to reduce the usage of new virgin materials.With their Infinited Fiber technology you can turn textile, cardboard and agricultural waste to new natural fiber.

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