Wear2 Ecostitching Technology
The average UK household owns approximately £4000 worth of clothes, 30% of which have not been worn in a year. Value of this unused clothing is approx. £30 billion. By extending the life of clothing by 3 months of active use would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints. An estimated £100 million worth of clothing (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes into landfill in the UK every year.
By reusing, de-labelling and reassembling garments, new clothing ranges could be created, charitable trusts could increase revenues for good causes, lesser reliance on valuable raw materials and environmental impact could be greatly reduced. This is greater in the use of Manufactured Fibres created from Petrochemical sources as the materials do not quickly biodegrade. By the increased application of wear2 a closed loop could be created for many manufactured garments and create affordable, environmentally friendly clothing for large populations of the world’s needy populace.
The fabrics are produced as normal within the Textile Manufacturing Process, it is at the Garment stage where the Technology is used. Specially created yarns/threads are used in the sewing together of the various parts of the garment. When subjected to Microwave Technology, the tensile strength of the yarns is greatly reduced and the garments can be separated into their various shapes. Labels, zips, buttons and other fastenings can also be easily removed and all can be reused.
To build up a recycling concept using wear2 will require investment and may also involve a licencing scheme. However estimated income for reusable clothing sales of £600/tonne or recycled clothes £30/tonne against costs of £75/tonne for landfill
Evidence of success
Concept proven at production level, yarn dyeing trials successful. This technology could have a big impact on the future of Textile production and the impact on the environment if take up by large Manufacturers is successfully achieved.
Trials were carried out by 2 large manufacturers and end users for the durability and wearability of clothing produced using the technology dependant yarns. Durability was demonstrated, yarn compatibility in large scale manufacturing was proven.
Potential for learning or transfer
The GP can be adopted by all member regions as part of individual Waste Management Policies. There is the potential to create new opportunities for all regions in economic terms. This Good Practice could provide new opportunities for social and cultural organisations to benefit and reduce eco footprint of environment. Short and long term impacts will be defined by the creative environment and uptake of new eco-friendly processes reducing the impact on landfill and Waste Disposal Authorities.