Materials science and digital identification company Avery Dennison and used textile specialist Texaid are combining their know-how and technology to address the challenges of textile waste management.

Avery Dennison will work with Texaid to explore how technology can be used to trace  garments. The collaboration aims to explore how digital identification technologies can improve the sorting and recycling process of textiles.

Digital identifiers, tracked via Avery Dennison’s connected product cloud platform, carrying fibre information, will help Texaid to sort apparel into the relevant resale or recycling streams, with the aim of contributing to a more sustainable textile industry.

According to the companies, Europe generates seven million tonnes of textile waste each year, of which less than 1% is recycled into new materials. The new Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles aims to help move the European Union (EU) “to a climate-neutral, circular economy where products are designed to be more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable and energy-efficient”.

Michael Colarossi, vice president, innovation, product line management and sustainability for Avery Dennison, said: “How do we turn textile waste into value at scale? The fashion industry needs answers and it needs action. This technology-driven approach will enable textile recycling, while also reducing processing time, driving down costs, and increasing capacity.”

Martin Böschen, CEO of Texaid, said: “Existing textile recycling facilities will be woefully inadequate if they remain small scale. We are showing today how technology can scale up processing so that we can generate the volumes of high-quality feedstock the industry is going to need.”