Solution: Textile recycling. Owner: Minot Recycling. Strategy: Recycling and repurposing.
The factory receives surplus or discarded clothing from various industries. The textiles are sorted and frayed (unravelled) into fibres. They are then transformed into bales of homogenous felt material.
The felt bales are sold to be turned into new products. These include insulating materials for roofs and flooring and filling for mats and pillows. The process works for natural, organic, synthetic and mixed fibres.
The factory receives clothing waste from 23,000 textile banks operated by Le Relais.
Potential circular economy impact
Technologies to recover fibres from clothing are not commonly used. As a result, the company had to produce their own technology to make insulating and filling materials.
This strategy recycles textile waste into new useful materials. In doing so, it diverts waste from landfill and incineration. This solution has decreased incineration rates for clothing collected by Le Relais from 29% to 3%.
People: Collection operatives; machinery operatives; companies to buy end products.
Resources: Storage warehouse; factory; logistics system.
Technology: Clothing detection system; fraying machines; balling system.
Implementation: Relationship building between textile banks and factories; developing a sorting system; acquiring technology; establishing buyer relationships.