Fashion Updates | Sustainability | Technologies

Source fashion to showcase breakthrough polyester textile recycling technology

Published: July 11, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

Europe’s newest responsible sourcing show, Source Fashion, which takes place from this Sunday 16th to Tuesday 18th at Olympia London, will showcase the first UK presentation of a world-first breakthrough in polyester textile recycling.

In a joint venture between corporate wear specialists Project Plan B and Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL), the trading arm of the charity, Project Re:claim  sees the first commercial-scale, post-consumer polyester recycling plant launched.

Visitors to Source Fashion will be able to discover how polyester textiles have been successfully recycled back into raw material during a live seminar on the new technology on Monday 17th July at 12pm by Charlene Bent, Marketing Manager and Majonne Frost, Head of Sustainability from SATCoL who will be discussing its possibilities and game-changing impact for the fashion industry. The team will also be on hand during the three-day show on the SATCoL stand SF-G60 to talk to visitors.

Project Plan B developed the exclusive polyester recycling system which is based on plastic bottle recycling. The Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL) will install the machine at their Processing Centre based in Kettering in September, which already sorts and processes around 65,000 tonnes of donated textiles every year.

Suzanne Ellingham, Director of Sourcing, Source Fashion says, “The fashion industry is increasingly embracing second life, reuse, recycling, and circular economy practices but polyester recycling has remained one of the biggest challenges in recycling post-consumer clothing. We are very excited to offer SATCoL a global platform at Source Fashion to launch Project Re:claim’s groundbreaking technology.”

The new plant will recycle around 2,500 tonnes in its first year, rising to 5,000 tonnes in year 2, and aims to recycle polyester that has come to the end of its useful life. The technology creates polyester pellets and has successfully produced the first yarn from these. 

Majonne Frost, Head of Environment & Sustainability at SATCoL says, “Last year SATCoL enabled reuse and recycling of over 250 million products but there are always items which are too damaged and we cannot resell and they are often garments made from polyester. With this new technology we can give these clothes a new lease of life. So when your favourite jumper is worn-out, we will take it and turn it into polyester pellets, ready to be turned back into a new jumper. This is the future of fashion.”

SATCoL already has the UK’s only automated textile sorting facility, Fibersort. Based at the charity’s purpose-built Processing Centre in Kettering, Fibersort automatically identifies and sorts second-hand textiles by fibre type and is the first step in textile-to-textile recycling. This additional new technology is the next step towards SATCoL’s ambition to create the UK’s first fibre farm, with the aim of massively scaling up textile-to-textile recycling of all types of materials. This presents a huge opportunity for the fashion circular economy.

Source Fashion takes place on 16th-18th July 2023. Visit https://www.source-fashion.com/ for more information.

For further press information please contact Philippa Suitters at Good Results.

Email philippas@goodresults.co.uk

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