Circular PLA Textiles (CIRPLATEX)

Project titel: Circular PLA Textiles (CIRPLATEX)

Project Objective: The project aims to bring the manufacturing of PLA textile to commercial implementation and the molecular recycling of PLA to pilot scale.

Project Partner: TryMee (Czech Republic)

Project Timeline: 1 September 2021 until 28 February 2022



The CIRPLATEX is a joint cooperation between TryMee Clothing, a textile company from the Czech Republic, and Arapaha BV, a technological company from Netherlands. Project introduces the world first circular PLA textile achieving the lowest environmental impact from all the currently available textile materials (measured by LCA study). It is meant to develop a zero waste, climate friendly and fossil free clothing collections using the latest developments in advanced polylactic acid (PLA) fibers and fabrics and the molecular recycling of such advanced PLA. In this way project connects textile sector with advanced manufacturing sector. There is also big potential for circular PLA textile applications in aerospace (upholstery of aircraft seats, working clothes…).

In practice, the closed loop starts with a circular design respecting recycling requirements, continues by a production of the products, a sale program, a post-consumer collection and finishes by molecular recycling (see the Figure 1). Then the loop starts again. This is a world first as the garments can be made from previously used ones, without any replenishment of the mass balance, completely fossil free, using only low climate impact bio-based materials. PLA textile technology is TRL 6 and PLA molecular recycling technology is TRL 4.

Within the CIRPLATEX project, the following innovations will take place:

  1. Clothing made from 100% PLA (t-shirts, tank-tops, pullovers, polos, …) – the world first 100 % PLA clothing available on the market.
  2. Molecular recycling of PLA garments – the PLA molecular recycling line is going to create a closed loop life cycle of the PLA garments.
  3. Collection system of the used PLA garments – an innovative infrastructure of Nilmore® Circular Points bringing new possibilities for collecting partners is going to be set up.
  4. Products traceability trough Internet of Things – a new system of QR product tracking ensuring the traceability and process transparency is going to be implemented.

Complete marketing research focused on market needs was done with 1043 participants leading to definition of these market opportunities: (i) 69,5% of customers are aware about the impacts of the fashion industry and want to buy clothes sustainably, (ii) 75% of them are missing sufficient offer and product information, (iii) 91% of customers want to buy clothes without reducing consumption.

The main technological challenge is to adjust traditional textile processes to the new material and to set the recycling technology up according to specifics of PLA textile form. To ensure it goes smoothly, TryMee Clothing has already spent 1 year by research and development of PLA textile specifics in cooperation with Brno University of Technology.

Support: We are grateful for the support we receive from the European Union via the GALACTICA Grant Agreement under the INNOSUP component of the HORIZON 2020 programme of the European Commission.