Sarah Case, Texaid
In the last year, TEXAID has evolved towards 100% circularity through both internal development and external collaboration. Internally, we have continued to evaluate and improve our internal operations for greater efficacy and capacity regarding textile circularity, including growing our teams, developing and expanding our circular services for brands and retailers, and working on internal innovation projects like the establishment of a European reversed supply chain to showcase that the production of a 100 % recycled fabric containing at least 50 % recycled cotton from post-consumer textile waste is possible. Additionally, TEXAID has expanded our own second-hand retail business in Germany, with almost 60 physical stores throughout Germany as well as expanded capacity in our online recommerce, with the aim of keeping clothing in the loop in its initial function in the geographical region they have been collected.
Externally, through our Retail and Recycling Solutions, we have expanded existing partnerships and gained new brand and retailer partners for the management of pre- and post-consumer textiles and footwear with the aim of keeping them in the loop for as long as possible at their highest value. Additionally, TEXAID has collaborated in industry wide innovation including further progression in textile-to-textile recycling including providing improved access to feedstocks.
On the one hand, TEXAID experiences challenges in sorting for textile-to-textile recycling and sourcing enough textile material to meet the specifications for the innovative textile-to-textile recycling processes. Within a project of the Euratex ReHubs Initiative, TEXAID will build a technology-based sorting facility by 2024 with a yearly sorting capacity of 50’000 tons. This will be specifically as a feedstock source for textile-to-textile recycling. On the other hand, we still observe that the demand for recycled fibre sourced from post-consumer textile waste is on a low level and this effects the speed with which TEXAID and other textile recycling companies can scale sorting for textile-to-textile recycling. Furthermore, the changing landscape for used clothing and footwear on a regulation level is something we follow closely. To overcome this challenge, we actively participate, as we are allowed, in the development of EU rules and regulations for the industry, for instance, through our engagement in the EuRIC Textiles.
Collaboration, commitment and action continue to be the primary needs from others to achieve the industries circularity goals. We believe all industry stakeholders need to continue to collectively take action and share understanding of the system shift as a process with room for trial and error, to shift away from linear systems towards scaled circular systems sooner rather than later.