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February 1, 2022updated 15 Mar 2022 10:17am

Coats launches circular water dissolvable threads

Coats has launched Ecocycle - a circular range of eco-friendly water dissolvable threads and is seeking collaborators to scale-up its new solution.

By Laura Husband

Industrial thread company Coats is eager to find apparel industry brands, manufacturers and recyclers who would like to collaborate on its new circular water dissolvable threads range and help make end of life garment recycling easier and more cost effective.

Coats’ circular water dissolvable threads range aims to aid the disassembly of garments and the company is ready to scale up this new circular solution by working with other companies at the garment design stage.

Coats believes that as more industry players take responsibility for the whole of the life cycle of their products it is vital they build in the right threads and applications from the very start of the creative process.

EcoCycle is described as a new thread that retains its durability during the life of the garment but when washed in an industrial machine at 95 degrees Celsius, the seams sewn with EcoCycle dissolve. This means the garment can be easily and quickly disassembled by pulling it apart so the non-textile and textile components can be sorted for recycling.

Coats product director, apparel and footwear, Sonya Manolova says: ‘We are calling for industry players who want to meaningfully play their part in end of life recycling to work with us to integrate it right at the beginning of the garment design. Together we can enhance our current first generation product version of EcoCycle to accelerate circularity for our industry.”

Coats points out the textile industry consumes around 100 million tonnes of new fibres each year and approximately 90% of textiles fibres at the end of life go straight into a waste stream that is either incineration or land fill.

Coats explains that recycling has not scaled up in the fashion industry, primarily because most garments have various components made from a mixture of different materials and composites. The dismantling process is also described as being manual, labour intensive and costly, however at the end of life many of the various fibres are reusable. The company highlights that a quarter (25%) of clothing is never even worn, with newly bought items being put into wardrobes and forgotten, until they are eventually discarded into a waste stream without being used.

Coats head of sustainability Andrew Morgan adds: “As an industry we need to reset the basics in order to deliver supply chain circularity. Sustainable innovation turns product conception and development on its head by addressing end of life first before how to manufacture it.”

In May last year Coats announced that it had developed a new biodegradable thread to support customers’ sustainability agendas. EcoRegen is made from 100% lyocell, a renewable fibre derived from wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests. The eco-friendly regenerated fibre is fully biodegradable and compostable due to its cellulosic origin and is suitable for a wide range of apparel applications.

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