How Can Textiles and Textile Waste be Recycled?

Many textiles can be repurposed. Clothes can be donated to charity shops for resale, while blankets and towels can be given to wildlife rescue and animal shelters. Cotton sheeting can be cut down into smaller squares to make durable, low-lint wipes for cleaning, engineering and printing.

But, when the fabric has disintegrated too far to be repurposed or there are confidentiality and brand integrity concerns what options are there for recycling?

Turning fabrics into fibres

Natural textiles such as wool, cotton and cellulose naturally biodegrade under the right conditions and can even be added to biomass and composting systems. But many fabrics are made from, or contain, manmade fibres that don’t break down. This doesn’t mean they have no further use.

By removing fasteners such as buttons and zips and breaking them down into fibres, discarded fabrics can be converted into a raw material with many new uses.

Fibres from pre and post-consumer textile waste can be added to virgin fibres to create clothing for brands aiming to send zero waste to landfills and create more sustainable fashion.

Recycled fibres are also used widely in manufacturing industries due to their excellent soundproofing and padding properties. Examples of this include sound-deadening panels and seat padding in vehicles, toy stuffing, mattress fillers and acoustic office screens.

How Can Avena Help Recycle Your Fabrics and Textiles?

Whether you wish to reduce your environmental impact by reducing your waste to landfills, or whether you wish to securely dispose of your textiles and clothing for security or brand integrity reasons, Avena can meet your needs.

Not only will we destroy your textiles, but we recycle them too. We have been working over the last 7 years and remain committed to our promise to send zero textile waste to landfills.

Our recycled textile and fabric products are used in many applications that give your waste a second, and maybe even a third, life!

Textile Shredding Service Details

Types of Textiles We Recycle and Their Sources

Post-consumer textile waste

This describes any textile-based items that have been made into finished products. Although some of this comes from pre-worn clothing donated to recycling schemes, large volumes are actually products that have never been worn or used.

 

Surplus and discontinued stock

It is often hard to predict the success of a new clothing line. Fashions can change overnight with a mention on social media, a celebrity endorsement or even an unexpected change in the weather. Even without these changes, every season brings its new looks and the old ones must be cleared away to make room for them.

Once the end-of-season sales have run their course, what is to be done with the remaining stock? Stores that function as clearing houses for branded goods may buy it at vastly reduced costs, but for truly valuable brands this isn’t an option. It makes better commercial sense to send the overstock to secure textile shredding services such as Avena, rather than damage the brand’s value by selling it off cheap.

 

Faulty stock

Brand-conscious retailers will likewise choose to shred any clothing with faults either in the production of the fabric or the manufacturing of the garment. Poor quality garments are even more damaging to brand reputation than unsold stock.

 

Security Concerns

Clothing that identifies the wearer as a member of an emergency service, security organisation or any other personnel with authorised access to restricted areas must always be guarded; false impersonation can have serious consequences that may compromise public safety and damage the integrity of the organisation.

Uniforms of former employees are routinely handed to a confidential garment destruction company such as Avena. The same happens to unissued stock when a uniform is given a redesign, as members of the public may not be able to tell the difference or realise that the redesign means the old uniform is no longer valid.

 

Pre-consumer textile waste

This refers to any textiles not cut into garments, including the fabric left behind after the cutting process. If it’s not commercially viable to make other items from offcuts and trimmings, recycling is the best option.

Fabrics with slight blemishes might be sold at a reduced cost, but if the fabric features a brand logo or distinctive pattern that immediately associates it with a valuable brand. Allowing it to enter the market as an inferior product would likely cause severe damage to the brand, and in such instances, the fabric must be securely recycled.

 

Start Your Zero-To-Landfill Journey Today!

Get in touch with an Avena representative today or request a quotation today for secure textile recycling and join the many companies already using our industry-leading services. High Street Brands and corporate companies alike trust Avena to help them reduce their environmental impact as well as maintaining their brand integrity and overall corporate security.

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