Wasted Textiles

The collaborative initiative, Wasted Textiles, is driven by the objective to augment understanding regarding synthetic fibres and actively contribute to the reduction of textiles entering the waste stream.

Global production of textile fibres has nearly doubled from the early 2000s to the present. In 2021, the production amounted to 113 million tons of textile fibres, with synthetic fibres constituting approximately 64% (Textile Exchange: Preferred Fiber & Materials Report 2022). The European Union urges the textile industry to extend the lifespan of textile products, with the aspiration that this measure will curtail consumption and phase out the fast fashion paradigm.

However, the actual impact of such measures remains a subject of inquiry. How can we effectively diminish the quantity of manufactured textile products? What is the true duration of use for products that ultimately find their way into waste?

These queries have prompted Mepex’s involvement in the collaborative project, wherein efforts are being undertaken to scrutinize textiles in waste and engage in interviews with Norwegian textile producers.

Frode Syversen, Kristiane Rabben, Kathrine Kirkevaag
Relevant documents:

Textile Analysis

For the textile mapping initiative, the Consumption Research Institute SIFO and Mepex have collaboratively devised a pick-analysis method. This method meticulously documents quantities, textile categories, fibre compositions, as well as the condition of textiles before being combined with general waste or other textiles in the collection bin.

The classification of textile conditions contributes to estimating the volume of textiles that could potentially be repurposed or recycled by averting their disposal as general waste. Running concurrently, the Pilot Project for Separate Collection of Textiles is evaluating diverse measures for consumer communication and system solutions for textile collection.

Corporate Interviews

Mepex has conducted interviews with commercial textile producers to delineate the influence of designers and purchasers on volume and fibre selection.

Subsequently, the interviewed companies participated in a professional workshop at the Deep Dive Analysis Workshop in Slemmestad. Ingun G. Klepp from SIFO, Gisle Mardal from NF&TA, and Camilla Mjelde from Trimco Group inaugurated the session with individual presentations on product lifespan, eco-design, and labelling schemes.

Participants engaged in a textile analysis, gaining practical insights into various aspects: the state of textiles before consumers discard them, the requisites for automated sorting of textiles based on colour and fibre, and the extent to which materials can be recycled into new fibres in the textile industry.

Finally, participants conducted a workshop, entailing discussions and proposals for measures to reduce production volume and extend the lifespan of textiles within their own product portfolios.

Wish to dive deeper into the project?

Consult our advisor Kristiane Rabben
Kristiane Rabben
Kristiane Rabben Senior advisor – Circular solutions +47 408 57 950 | kristiane@mepex.no