To reach a circular fashion industry – recycling methods for blend textiles are key. Even though the majority of the clothes we wear are made of blend materials, there is no method available that can fully recycle these garments into new ones. Yet.
In 2017, our researchers in Japan reached a milestone when they discovered a hydrothermal method that has the potential to change the game completely.
The output is long and good quality polyester fibres which can be used to make new garments. The cotton is extracted as cellulose powder, which can be used in multiple ways. HKRITA is currently exploring if it can be used to further benefit the fashion industry.
In September 2018, The Green Machine opened in Tai Po, Hong Kong. It’s a pre-industrial sized facility, which purpose is to invite fashion brands and stakeholders worldwide to see, test and implement this technology within their own operations.
Edwin Keh, CEO of HKRITA
At the time of the launch, the Green Machine had a capacity of recycling 100 kilo fabric per day and planned to reach 1,000 kilos per day within one year.
In 2019, another milestone was reached when a contract was signed with a supplier, who will build and implement a real sized recycling facility within their factory. The output will be used to make new garments and has the potential to revolutionize the whole fashion industry when it comes to possibilities of garment recycling.