Amsterdam based social enterprise Circle Economy is collaborating with Spanish textile recycling company Recover on a project looking at new ways to scale the use of recycled post-consumer cotton. 

Recover, which is part of cotton yarn manufacturer Hilaturas Ferre, has been recycling post-industrial clipping waste for over 70 years, but says the recovery stream accounts for only a fraction of overall textile waste.

Working with Circle Economy it now wants to explore the "high-value" recycling possibilities within the post-industrial, pre-consumer, and post-consumer waste streams, and develop new, scalable, closed loop solutions through a series of practical implementation projects.

The ongoing pilot projects with pre- and post-consumer textiles aim to develop a model that is both replicable and scalable in the long term.

Circle Economy and Recover are developing this model through the following collaborative projects with the industry: Reblend High-Value Recycling Project – transforming post-consumer textile waste into high-quality products; Reshare High-Value Recycling Project – transforming old military uniforms into humanitarian aid blankets; and the G-Star High-Value Recycling Project – measuring the potential impact of denim recycling.

Recover aims to extend its expertise of recycling pre- and post-consumer textiles to develop new closed-loop solutions for the industry. "Such changes can create a system whereby products, fabrics and fibres are infinitely and effectively cycled through connected loops allowing for continued fibre consumption without the depletion or destruction of resources and ecosystems, on which we are dependent."