Exciting New Partnership

» Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Fiber, Manufacturing, Recycling, Sustainability, Textiles / Fabrics | 0 comments

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The apparel industry continues to call for more sustainable solutions, less impact, and a shift toward circularity. New initiatives are launched with growing frequency, and this summer’s big announcement has upped the ante.

In July of 2016, Inditex and Lenzing announced a partnership to advance circular textiles. According to an article on ecouterre.com, retail giant Inditex plans to expand its collection, reuse, and recycling program for textiles. Part of the effort will be through increasing unwanted garment collection throughout Spain. Another area of focus will be reclaiming manufacturing waste using Lenzing’s new cotton recycling technology.

An important detail for non-geeks to understand is manufacturing scrap, not garments, will most likely feed the recycling process during the program’s early phases. However, even if garments collected through the initiative are simply reused or down cycled in the short term, the partnership signals big apparel’s growing interest in reclaiming textile resources.

Inditex is one of the largest apparel retailers in the world, and they join the likes of H&M and Forever 21 on the fast fashion circuit. Lenzing is a globally recognized producer of viscose and other cellulosic fibers who market themselves as a sustainable fiber producer. Collaboration between companies of this size and reach could have a significant impact on the future of sustainable apparel. The level of impact will be a direct reflection of each company’s commitment to work through the inherent challenges of textile recycling and desire to achieve industry transforming results.

Apparel is a competitive industry, and this partnership could also increase the pace of recycling technology development on the whole as well as spur the formation of new alliances between brands and developing textile to textile recycling technologies. We hope it results in more investment for these technologies and a catalyzation of deeper brand and retailer involvement in the advancement of circular apparel systems and infrastructure.

The race to create a circular apparel industry is a challenging but necessary endeavor, and technologies, brands, and retailers are undoubtedly watching to see what happens next. Hopefully they use this announcement as an opportunity to strengthen their efforts to collaborate and reach the finish line of new, commercially viable recycling solutions. Alliances such as the partnership between Lenzing and Inditex hold a great deal of promise for the future… Let’s hope other industry leaders see this as a chance to create a better apparel industry and follow suit.

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