Textile upcycling solution gains traction and funding in Amsterdam
The Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is collaborating with partners across various fields and industries to develop a new closed-loop solution for textile waste.
Financial support for circular textile solutions
Great minds in chemistry, business, social psychology and textiles have received just shy of one million euros in funding from the Dutch Research Council to develop their circular solution for textile waste in Amsterdam. The group of experts (MIWATEX) is being led by Professor Gert-Jan Gruter from Industrial Sustainable Chemistry at the Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. The group will work to develop an upcycling method for mixed cotton and polyester textiles – a blend of fibres that is notoriously more difficult to recycle than single-fibre textiles.
Avoiding textile waste through upcycling
It is widely known that fashion waste is a serious and far-reaching environmental pollutant. One way to reduce this impact is through recycling. However, a large portion of clothing is made from mixed fibre textiles, such as cotton and polyester blends. And currently, there are no efficient or favoured methods for recycling these materials.
For this reason, the MIWATEX consortium is aiming to use the latest technologies and approaches to create a new way for these mixed-blend textiles to be processed by upcycling them to a form that can be recycled. Achieving this will forge a new, closed-loop solution for used textiles that will reduce the environmental impact of these materials.
Collaboration for innovation
By drawing on expertise from a variety of sectors, researchers from Industrial Sustainable Chemistry will be able to expand their existing network of partners in the textiles industry. For this project, they’ll be collaborating with recycling technology experts such as Avantium and CuRE as well as recycled fabric manufacturer Wieland Textiles, among many others.
Sustainable fashion initiatives in Amsterdam
The MIWATEX collaboration is just one example of how innovators in the Amsterdam Area are reaching out across sectors to form answers to a growing global question: how can we make fashion more sustainable?
From design and production to recycling, there are numerous voices in Amsterdam calling for more conscious practices in the fashion industry. Startup accelerator Fashion for Good is uniting multiple players in the fashion industry through its global platform, whereas companies such as BYBORRE, Brightfiber Textiles and Dyecoo are working with clothing brands to produce fashion items more consciously.