Textile and fibre company Teijin is joining forces with Onward Holdings and Fuji Xerox to launch a closed loop recycling system for polyester uniforms in China.

The scheme, which is based on Teijin’s Eco Circle polyester recycling technology, involves Onward Trading (Shanghai) producing the uniforms, which are then worn by Fuji Xerox engineers and production line workers.

The process begins with Nantong Teijin, the Japanese group’s polyester textile manufacturing and processing company, weaving and dyeing recyclable polyester textiles, which are then used by Onward to make the uniforms.

From January next year, these will be worn by 500 engineers at Fuji Xerox (China) in Beijing and 200 production line workers at Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing (Suzhou), which recycles used copiers, printers and cartridges.

Once used, the uniforms will be sent to the recycling plant of Zhejiang Jiaren New Materials, a joint venture between Teijin and Jinggong Holding Group in Shaoxing which recycles polyester products and produces and sells recycled polyester fibres.

After chemical decomposition, the uniforms are converted into raw polyester – which Teijin claims is as pure as polyester derived directly from petroleum – and then turned into polyester for fresh uniforms.

“The three companies all commit to helping reduce environmental loads with our technologies, which led us to establishing this uniform recycling scheme,” said Masataka Jo, president and CEO of Fuji Xerox (China).

“I expect that this system will raise our employees’ awareness to protect [the] environment.”