Our project contributes to the achievement of 3 SDGs
Less textile waste in the environment
The biggest impact is a decrease of the percentage of post-consumption used clothes that ends up in landfills or burned in incinerators, which also lowers the release of dangerous substances in the atmosphere and the following negative effect on human and environmental health. This is possible through the cataloguing of clothes and their consequent sustainable and functional treatment due to each garments’ characteristics.
How the system works today
Of end-of-life textile waste that ends up in landfills and is often exported to developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia.
Is recycled into new clothes and the rest is redirected to low-value utilizations like paddings, rags, insulation, that cannot be salvaged after use.
Impact in the textile industry
Textile is a very complex and diversified material, of mixed composition, and there are many characteristics to detect and transmit in order to recycle or reuse it. The selection process is usually done by hand, with elevated costs and waste of time. This makes the practice extremely expensive for textile waste collectors. The technology of Re4Circular allows to change this system: it is innovative and founded on the increase in efficiency and sustainability in the field, as well as the promotion of economic valorization of textile waste and its channeling towards eco-friendly uses.
The textile industry around the world
The positive repercussions of our solutions aren’t only locally relevant. Currently, 70% of textile waste produced in the EU and in the USA ends up in developing countries, especially Africa. Here they are resold at a very low price, replacing the local textile economy. The majority of clothes arriving in these countries are from “fast-fashion”, of poor quality and worn-in, and they end up flooding landfills and causing heavy environmental, social and sanitary repercussions.
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Our model makes sure textile waste is handled where it is produced and doesn’t simply relocate the issue to another continent. As a result, it digitalizes and shortens the process, while guaranteeing its transparency.
Moreover, our solution is consistent with the current regulatory level. In fact, following the approval of the legislative package on circular economy and waste management, all member states of the European Union must make textile waste collection mandatory by 2025 (Italy has set an earlier deadline, 2022).
Our solution also represents an opportunity on a public level, since the efficient management of textile waste reduces the public spending related to this service and the consequential environmental impact.
A more circular fashion
Another important and positive aspect of our project is related to the fashion field.
Re4Circular promotes the use of secondary raw materials (used garments/textile waste) by the textile-clothing-fashion industry, which are existing materials, in order to avoid the extraction and utilization of new natural resources for the production of new clothes.
The number of natural resources used every year in the textile and fashion industry is massive!
To learn more about this, see the article by the European Parliament.
With Re4Circular all players in the textile-clothing-fashion industry can access this supply:
- Companies that deal with the mechanical recycling of textile fibers;
- Second-hand shops;
- Designers e and tailor-made upcycling boutiques;
Each actor will have access to all the information in order to treat this secondary raw material in the most efficient way possible and create sustainable products.
With the facilitation of textile waste recovery, we promote the valorization and development of artisanal skills and professions (like tailors, and more) that were being neglected.
Among tailor-made upcycling shops there are also social tailoring workshops, that include disadvantaged people through labor. Our circular and efficient model allows to simplify their tasks and the supply of secondary raw materials in order to create circular products, including these people into value chains from which it’s usually easy to be excluded from.
To sum up: our technological approach allows the adoption of economies of scale and enables even smaller companies to embrace circular and sustainable business models, as well as ensuring transparency among all players in the industry and towards the final consumer.