Working towards a scalable solution for textile recycling

Today, 2% of post-consumer textiles (in Europe) are diverted to fibre-to-fibre recycling.

The TREX Project brings together 12 major players from across the entire value chain to create a harmonised EU blueprint and business opportunities for closed loop sorting, and recycling of household textile waste. Transforming end-of-use textiles, from waste, into a desired feedstock, and a commodity for new business models that can be adopted at scale.

Creating a circular system for post-consumer textile waste currently faces many challenges, including a lack of standards for collecting and sorting textile waste across countries, inaccurate composition claims, uneven quality of materials, and a lack of reliable data across value chain stakeholders.

Across a three-year period, the TREX Project will collect and sort household textile waste and demonstrate the full recycling process of polyester, polyamide 6, and cellulosic materials from textile waste into new garments. Simultaneously, the Project aims to demonstrate sustainable and economically feasible business models for each actor along the value chain, conduct lifecycle analysis of the circular process, integrate digital tools that streamline the process of closed loop textile recycling, and produce circular design guidelines.

The project ultimately aims to contribute to a paradigm shift, understanding and identifying the infrastructure, technology and policy needed to encourage the growth of circular value chains. It will work towards developing a systemic approach to addressing the problem of textile waste, whilst also assessing how citizens can be empowered to actively contribute to the paradigm shift, working to build a holistic solution to one of fashion’s biggest sustainability challenges.