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Billy Hunter

Editor's Viewpoint

24th September 2018, Dornbirn

Garment-to-garment recycling for H&M Foundation and Novetex

Edwin Keh, CEO of HKRITA. © Adrian WilsonThe circular economy, a current hot topic in all industries including textiles and clothing, is an alternative to a traditional linear economy, which makes, uses and disposes. With a circular economy, we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Leading fashion retailer H&M aims to make its operations fully circular by 2030 and recently reported it has some $4.3 billion worth of unsold inventory on its racks. It desperately needs technologies with the ability to make such problems disappear. And fast.

In an extremely stimulating and entertaining presentation at last week’s Dornbirn Global Fiber Conference (GFC) in Austria, Edwin Keh, CEO of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel (HKRITA), explained the background to the rapid development of a garment-to-garment recycling system for the H&M Foundation and Novetex.

The Novetex Upcycling Mill opened on September 3rd in Hong Kong, when HKRITA’s new hydrothermal method for recycling polyester from blended fabrics into new fibres was unveiled for the first time…

Read the full conference report by Adrian Wilson on our Innovation in Textiles website

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