Wtórpol, as the only Polish company, has joined the 'Sorting for Circularity' project dedicated to the model of sorting and placing clothes into re-circulation. The project aims to create a more efficient infrastructure for processing textile waste in order to increase the promotion of sorting and re-circulation activities, in line with the circular economy.
The volume of disposed textiles is increasing year on year, and forecasts are not optimistic – the phenomenon is set to become increasingly larger and more burdensome for the environment. According to data from Fashion for Good, we purchase on average 60 per cent more clothes than we did 15 years ago. What’s more – we are using each garment for half as long. Furthermore, it is estimated that almost 60% of all clothing manufactured goes to incineration or to landfill within one year of its manufacturing.
It is therefore important to change the approach of the entire fashion industry and to create optimal methods of managing textile waste – which will consequently increase the possibilities of operating in a circular system.
Implemented in 2021 and 2022 across Europe, the project uses near-infrared (NIR) technology to conduct a detailed analysis of textile waste and explore its material composition. The research carried out in each country as part of this project will reveal the gaps between the sorting and recycling industries, and identify the innovation, investment and policy changes needed to accelerate the construction of circular textile chains.
This research will also help to create an open digital platform with the possibility of matching textile waste from sorting entities to recycling entities. The platform thus aims to foster collaboration between stakeholders, all with a view to developing a circular infrastructure.
The Sorting for Circularity project has united the brands of industry leaders across Europe, including its current partners, Circle Economy, Refashion, Laudes Foundation, Adidas, BESTSELLER, Zalando and Inditex. Alongside Wtórpol, the project also brings together major textile sorters in Europe, including the Boer Group, I:CO, JMP Wilcox and TEXAID, among others.
Wtórpol has been supporting various innovative, research and social initiatives for many years, so the objective of the project launched by Fashion for Good fits perfectly with the mission of the company. By joining the undertaking, Wtórpol contributes to the creation of key insights that can be helpful to the whole industry. Projects such as ‘Sorting for Circularity’ contribute not only to achieving the objectives of the ‘zero waste’ approach, but more importantly, to educating the industry and society on how to manage clothing deemed unnecessary.
The specialists involved in the project visited the Wtórpol sorting plant in December 2021 and spring 2022 in order to study the composition of the textiles in the sorting plant.