CircTex • A circular future for textiles

Workwear is the ideal starting point for circularity in the textile industry as it requires a high quantity of raw materials. Since workwear cannot be reused, the sector is entirely dependent on new materials. At the same time, quality requirements are higher for workwear, and the effects of use considerably reduce its recyclability.

CircTex’s objective is to develop recycling and production technologies in a closed-loop process chain for polyester (PET) workwear, as well as reduce the use of non-renewable raw materials and the ecological impact of textiles.

The following technologies and processes will be developed to TRL level 7 (system prototype demonstration in operational environment):

  • mechanical and chemical recycling
  • spinning and weaving
  • no-waste production
  • Wear2 yarn and industrial microwave technology for assembly and disassembly
  • recyclable laminates, logos and accessories
  • collection and sorting systems

Context

The North-West Europe (NWE) textile industry uses 17 million tonnes of non-renewable raw materials each year, making it one of the most polluting industries.

To address this issue, policies are focusing on shifting this industry towards a circular economy. However, existing technology is inadequate, making it impossible to turn this into reality.

Key info

Project type: Interreg NWE

Start date: 2019

Duration: three years

Total cost: €4 million

ERDF funding: €2.4 million

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Expected results

CircTex’s results will be shared with the entire NWE textile industry to improve knowledge and increase the number of businesses working on circularity in the textile industry.

To ensure it has an impact in the long-term, the project will set up an innovation network, actively involving the stakeholders.

In addition, an international circular textiles standard will be launched to encourage the subsequent development of a circular process chain for other textiles and textile products.

CircTex will boost the growth of the NWE textile industry, creating a large number of jobs in the future.

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