Textile recycling is a very important approach that is related to the issue of textile waste and pollution caused by the increase in consumption and mass production.
Textile recycling is one of the applications that contribute to reducing the carbon footprint. Thanks to the recycling of all wastes and textile products, on the one hand, natural resources and the environment are protected, and on the other, energy savings are provided. In addition, thanks to these applications, the amount of garbage that needs to be disposed of is also reduced. With the reintroduction of raw materials obtained from processed textile wastes into the economic cycle, it becomes possible to invest in the future.
The “Use-to-Dispose” model, which has gained a foothold in the world, has caused a large amount of waste waste at every point up to the distribution and use of textile raw materials.
The Ellen Foundation, which was born in the UK but has global influence, claims that only 1% of the materials used to produce textile products are recycled in its research results. Textile waste rates statistical information shows that an average of $ 100 billion worth of textile products go to waste every year. According to these data, it is seen that recycled fabrics or their derivatives cannot fully participate in the potential production in the textile field. Being able to introduce a regenerative circular operation in which the use of materials is protected and protected from a waste fabric recycling-based model will result in great savings.
Recycling, although the technologies for the reuse of fabrics have existed for a long time, textile recycling has only begun to gain more awareness and popularity in the last decade.
The most commonly used fibers for recycling are polyester and cotton. Because both fibers are the most common fibers produced worldwide.
Just as we can give the example of cotton for natural fabrics, we can also give the example of polyester for synthetic fabrics. according to the preferred textile fiber material Sunday report announced in 2018, 51% of the world’s fiber factories in 2017 are covered by polyester yarn recycling type.
Polyester is a synthetic fiber. Raw material components are most often produced from petrochemicals. Cotton, on the other hand, is a natural fiber that is an organic compound that grows around cottonseed and is found mainly in plants.
Fabrics can be recycled and play a role in the production of a new product. Recycling companies constantly use the terms open and closed recycling in the context of the circular economy. Open-loop recycling means the transfer of textile materials to the value chain of a different product. Pet bottles, which are recycled for polyester fibers, can be shown as an example of open-loop recycling. Closed-loop recycling, on the other hand, allows the materials to be recycled to the original products they serve (e.g. from yarn to yarn, from paper to paper) means that recycling is carried out.
The types of recycling are generally considered in two main contexts. Mechanical recycling and chemical recycling.
Mechanical recycling means the mechanical separation of industrial waste or post-consumption waste into products with different physical properties.
Chemical recycling refers to processes in which the chemical structure of the waste material is depolymerized, or degraded, and then re-polymerized into untreated material.
The biggest problem in the fashion industry comes from textile waste. Millions of tons of textile waste are thrown into landfills every year as a result of the disposal of clothing and production residues from the fast fashion industry. Most of these discarded fabrics are neither organic nor natural, so it can take Tues thousands of years to decompose before returning to Earth, releasing hundreds of thousands of microplastic particles in the process, polluting the entire planet. One of the ways to help reduce the impact of textile waste on the planet is to buy clothes made from recycled textiles.