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Web Exclusive | November 2019

Södra finds way to recycle used cotton, blended fabrics

Södra has found a way to convert large volumes of used cotton and blended fabrics into new clothing and textiles. The technique can separate cotton and polyester in poly-cotton blends, which are one of the most widely used textiles in the market. The pure cotton fibres are then added to the wood-derived textile pulp, which can be used to make new textiles.

One of the major obstacles to textile recycling is that the fabrics are often made from blended materials. At present, no one in the world can recycle fibres from blended fabrics on a large scale. Södra’s solution will enable circular flows in the fashion and textile industry.

“Only a negligible proportion of the global production of clothing and textiles is recycled today. Virtually everything is sent to landfill or incineration. But Swedish innovation and a willingness to help mitigate climate change can now influence the game at a global level,” said Lars Idermark, president and CEO of Södra.

“We are now redrawing the map for the fashion and textile industry by offering circular flows of textile fibres. A sweater can now become a sweater again. This will create added value for our customers, and especially the fashion industry. It's a big day for us and an equally big day for the emerging circular bioeconomy,” said Johannes Bogren, president of Södra Cell Bioproducts.
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