Crystal International has revealed that its sportswear factory in Vietnam and lifestyle-wear factory in China have successfully attained zero production waste to landfill by diverting 100% of production waste away from landfill and incineration through recycling and waste-to-energy.

The sportswear factory in Vietnam recycled fabric waste to pillow cores and plastic powder. These recycling initiatives are said to have successfully reduced more than 125,000kg of carbon emissions per year originated from waste treatment and disposal.

Crystal International added the factory also recovered energy and made use of fabric waste material for cement production by a thorough process of mixing fabric waste with cement raw materials and co-processing at least 1400°C in cement kiln. It explained that around 5,900kg of cement could be produced by recycling over 117,000kg of waste.

Meanwhile, its lifestyle-wear factory in China established a comprehensive waste collection system which encompassed waste streams. In addition to recycling fabric waste into yarns, other waste such as sludge and food waste were recycled into bricks and fish feed respectively. To fully utilise all sorted waste, non-recyclable waste was sent to a waste co-processing partner for energy recovery.

In 2022, this factory diverted 3,040 tonnes solid waste from landfill.

Crystal International’s factories have also fully uncovered the value of fabric waste with various initiatives through collaboration with qualified waste co-processing partners.

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Catherine Chiu, vice president, global sustainability of Crystal International said: “Waste is not a waste, we upcycle and recycle fabric waste from factories to create new styles. We always embed circularity into our design to manufacturing stages and rethink how fabric waste from operation could generate positive impact. Look forward to collaborating with different partners to explore new circularity opportunities.”

Crystal International added that all of these efforts are crucial to its net zero 2050 vision, a long-term climate commitment, launched in March last year.

As part of this wider plan, the Hong-Kong based manufacturer produced what it claimed to be its first net zero jeans last November.