Textile recycling process gives used garments a second life

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In Austria, fashion label Sabinna and the Wearable technologists Engage with Artists for Responsible innovation (WEAR) project have developed a process to turn used garments made of cotton and viscose into new materials such as garment packaging, tags, and shop interiors.

“We designed a capsule collection of wardrobe essentials, focusing on garments that almost everyone owns and wears in everyday life, such as bomber jackets, jeans or shirts. And it was really important not to compromise the design decisions but still make a product that is sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable,” says project partner Sabinna Rachimova, the founder of fashion label Sabinna, in a WEAR video.

The technology uses chemicals to dissolve the fabrics into cellulose fibers, which are then and reformed into new, 100% cellulose-based materials that are fully biodegradable.

The fashion industry is a major industrial polluter, emitting up to 1,715 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.