Textile Recycling Excellence (T-REX)

Project objective: The T-REX project aims to provide the European Commission with a blueprint for creating new business opportunities based on a closed loop textile recycling demonstrator with household textile waste as new feedstock.

Project Partners: Adidas, Veolia Environnement, LKT Erlangen, CuRe Technology, BASF, Infinited Fiber,  TWD Fibres, Linz Textil, Aalto University, Fashion for Good, Quantis.

Project timeline: June 2022 – June 2025

Summary

While a paradigm shift in consumption is welcome and second-hand and reuse have become a desired lifestyle, only a major shift in the way we produce, and resource materials can lead to an appreciable reduction in raw material usage and incineration or landfill disposal of textile waste. While major brands are touted as the main culprits, they are often in a complex position at the end of complex value chains. But they have the power to initiate change and show to other brands, big and small, that profitable sustainability can be achieved. We believe there is no single stakeholder alone, nor one technology, existing or to be invented, that will solve the problem of textile waste.

There is instead a complex interrelation of legislation, good practices, business models AND technologies which, if aligned and working together, can determine the transformation of textile waste into a precious new commodity, one that has an appreciable economical value and thus can be adopted at scale, determining finally a measurable result in terms of increased sustainability (water usage and waterways pollution, raw material extraction, soil depletion for instance) of the textile and garment sector, which is currently one of the four worst polluters in Europe and in the world. In T-REX we want to stress the current recycling technologies to accept and process this new feedstock derived from household textile waste and build business models and sustainability assessments around them.

We aim to contribute to understand:

  • what is already possible putting the right synergies in place,
  • how much our current technologies can be pushed to the limit,
  • what constitutes a roadblock,
  • what can policy makers do to encourage the growth of new value chains around household textile waste as feedstock at scale and how can consumers be active part of this paradigm shift

Support

We are grateful for the support we receive from the European Union under the Horizon Europe program