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September 9, 2021

Eastman joins Accelerating Circularity Steering Committee

Speciality materials maker Eastman and materials science specialist Milliken & Company are the latest US Steering Committee members of Accelerating Circularity Inc.

By Beth Wright

The Accelerating Circularity Steering Committee provides strategy and guidance to the organisation’s US-based project which sees it explore waste collection via chemical and mechanical recycling technologies.

Current members of the Steering Committee include Gap Inc, Giotex, Gr3n, Lenzing, Nike, Target, VF Corp, and Unifi.

Eastman and Milliken, who have both made investments in and commitments to the transition to circular, textile-to-textile supply systems, will support a wider range of chemical recycling options and textile manufacturing capabilities as the project moves into the trial phase.

“With Eastman Naia Renew cellulosic fibre, we are committed to making sustainable textiles accessible to all. We are thrilled to join Accelerating Circularity and see this collaboration as key to shaping and scaling up the recycling infrastructure needed to achieve a circular textiles industry,” says Eastman’s general manager for textiles, Jon Woods.

Chad McAllister, president, textile division and executive vice president, Milliken & Company, added: “We have invested in the ability to explore innovative materials through our Rapid Prototype Center. It’s perfect for validating new circular feedstocks to scale into commercial production. Joining Accelerating Circularity allows us to collaborate with a wide range of industry stakeholders with similar goals.”

Potential circular system trial feedstocks, fibres, technologies, and finished goods have been identified through extensive consultation with collectors, sorters, preprocessors, recyclers, yarn spinners, fabric mills, and brands and retailers. Collection, sorting, and preprocessing of targeted trial feedstocks were due to begin on 1 September.

In May, Accelerating Circularity launched a new project in Europe building on the success of its work to research, map, model and linking circular textile-to-textile systems in the US.

As in the US, The European project will unfold in phases: research and mapping, modelling and linking, then trials and evaluation. The new project will expand upon the work done to date and adapt it to the European context.

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