Perspectives: End Point

Recycled Textiles Get New Life

Finnish researchers plan to revive worn textiles to better-than-new condition

By Seán Ottewell, Editor at Large

Novel processing techniques being developed in Finland raise the prospect of returning large quantities of waste textile material back into production and helping the country meet its regulatory commitments. Finland consumes around 70,000 tons of clothing and household textiles each year. Government figures suggest that about 30% of this is eventually reused and about 14% sent for recycling. The rest goes to landfill. At the same time, the amount of textile waste is rising. According to the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority Sorting Study 2012, the capital’s metropolitan area alone generated 14% more waste between 2007 and 2012 — rising from 8.9 to 10.2 kg/inhabitant/year.

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