Did you know that natural fibers can take up to hundreds of years to decompose? Are you aware that as they break down, they may release CO2 and methane gas into the atmosphere? Such factors have led to an increase in the awareness regarding textile recycling. Over the past few years, this industry has grown by leaps and bounds. This guide describes the basics of textile recycling to help those associated with this industry understand the related importance and benefits. Now many entrepreneurs are interested in textile recycling business. Textile recycling business revolves around the process of recycling used or unwanted textiles so that the raw material which comprises them can be recovered. It will also be helpful who are interested to do business in textile recycling. Take a look:
Basics of Textile Recycling:
Clothing recycling is a part of textile recycling. It comprises recovering old clothing material for sorting and processing and delivers reusable clothing products. The various processes involved are as described below:
A host of different strategies are used by clothing recyclers to collect used or discarded clothing pieces. For instance, door-to-door collection, clothing drives and picking from bins placed in public places are some of the ways to collect post-consumer clothing. The bins are generally placed in strategic points which are easily accessible such as parking lots and shopping malls. These bins are color coded and are intentionally positioned in areas with high footfall and visibility to achieve maximum collection of used material for recycling. Even leading retailers are partnering with clothing recycling companies to contribute towards the green cause associated with cloth recycling.
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After collection comes the sorting process. The sorting stage helps classify the collected material into three different groups – reuse, rags and fiber. Generally, the sorting process is manual and requires a special skill set for accurately identifying the various types of material collected. However, today, this sorting process is supported with special mechanical systems which are specifically designed for this purpose. These systems are conveyor belts and bins which efficiently and quickly help segregate the various grades of collected material.
The composition of textile fabric and clothing influences the method of recycling to which it will be subjected. The sorted items after being sorted and graded by highly experienced and skilled workers are sent to different destinations as listed below:
- Natural textiles are sorted on the basis of color and material. The separation on the basis of color helps eliminate the need for re-dyeing thus reducing associated energy consumption and pollutants. The clothing is then torn into uneven fibers and combined with other selected fibers. This step depends on the planned end use of the recycled fiber. Once these fibers are cleaned and spun, they can be compressed and used for producing mattress. Textiles which are to be sent to the flocking industry are used to manufacture filling material for panel linings, car insulation, furniture padding and loudspeaker cones.
- In case of polyester-based materials, the recycling process is a bit different. Firstly, zippers and buttons are removed and then the clothing is cut into smaller pieces. The smaller shredded pieces of fabrics are then granulated and shaped into pellets which are fit for reusing.
Textile or clothing recycling offers a host of benefits such as reducing consumption of energy and water, eliminating associated pollution, curtailed demand for dyes and easing up on the demand for fast- depleting landfill spaces. With increasing technological advancements in this field, the future of textile recycling is shining bright.
Author Bio: Erich Lawson is passionate about saving the environment through effective recycling techniques and modern innovations. He works with Compactor Management Company and writes on a variety of topics related to recycling, including tips and advice on how balers, compactors and shredders can be used to reduce industrial waste. He loves helping business understand how to lower their monthly garbage bills and increase revenue from textile recycling.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.