The new Horizon Europe project (CISUTAC), launched by Euratex and its partners, is working towards facilitating the circular economy transition with the aim of removing current bottlenecks.

While the production and consumption of textile products continue to grow, so does the impact on the environment caused by a lack of reuse, repair and recycle of materials. Quality, durability, and recyclability are often not being set as priorities in the design and manufacturing of garments, according to the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles.

CISUTAC aims to remove current bottlenecks in order to increase textile circularity in Europe. The objective is to minimise the sector’s total environmental impact by developing new, sustainable and integrated large-scale European value chains.

The project will include most parts of the textile sector: comprising the two groups of fibres that represent almost 90% of all textile fibres – polyester and cotton/cellulose – and focusing on products from three sub-sectors experiencing most circularity bottlenecks (fashion garments, sports and outdoor goods, and workwear).

CISUTAC will follow a holistic approach covering the technical, sectoral and socio-economic aspects of textile value chain, and will perform three pilot phases to demonstrate the feasibility and value of:

•            Repair and disassembling

•            Sorting (for reuse and recycling)

•            Circular garments through fibre-to-fibre recycling and design for circularity

To realise these pilots, the consortium partners will:

•            Develop semi-automated workstations

•            Analyse infrastructure and material flows

•            Digitally enhance sorting operations (for reuse and recycling)

•            Raise awareness among consumers and the textile industry

As part of the CISUTAC consortium, Euratex will facilitate the Circular Economy transition, liaise with other projects and initiatives, support the development of training and education material, including masterclasses and MOOC, raise awareness in Europe of the environmental impact of textile and provide input for policy, standardisation and certification to facilitate the transition to the Circular Economy.

Euratex last week urged more incisive action in tackling the energy crisis in Europe and said policies must be implemented without delay.