New investment has been injected into recycling technology specialist Circ to help it scale up its method for harvesting new yarns from mixed textile waste.

Circ, which believes it has found a way to “erase our global fashion footprint”, has received the funding from Avery Dennison, the global materials science and digital identification solutions company.

The investment will help accelerate the commercialisation of Circ’s innovative processes as the US-based company begins developing industrial-scale polycotton recycling pilot plants

Once up and running, the sites will allow garment brands and Avery Dennison to recycle mixed textile waste streams, such as polyester-cotton blends, into high-quality cellulose-based or PET-based yarns for use in manufacturing clothing.

With this investment, Avery Dennison joins leading apparel brands such as Patagonia and Inditex in supporting the Circ technology.

Michael Colarossi, vice president for innovation, product line management and sustainability at Avery Dennison, said: “The time for circular strategies and their enabling technologies is now.

“Using intelligent labelling in garments, we are working with Circ and other supply chain partners to drive a paradigm shift in the textile and fashion industries. Together we provide a solution for the take-back and sorting of waste at scale.

“Cutting-edge solutions like this are so valuable and are advancing rapidly alongside critical market trends and demands. We are excited to support Circ in its next steps, driving the creation of a collaborative, circular economy for textiles.”

Peter Majeranowski, chief executive officer at Circ, added: “Transforming the fashion economy requires leadership from influential players in the textile industry, the financial community, as well as technology innovators.

“The Circ team, which includes not only our employees but also our investors and partners, encompasses a diverse group of retail, manufacturing and engineering leaders across the US, Europe and Asia.

“We share a common view that a clean future for the fashion industry is not only possible but also essential for humanity. With each funding round and expansion in our partner base, we become more capable of ending the costly and preventable cycle of garment waste. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Textile-to-textile recycling facilities are urgently needed by the world’s clothing brands and their suppliers who must reduce their carbon footprint, particularly their upstream and downstream (scope 3) emissions.

It has been estimated that 92 million tons of textile waste is created annually by the fashion industry. It is anticipated that textile waste will have increased by around 60% between 2015 and 2030, reaching an annual total of 148 million tons, unless circular models are adopted at scale.

A research report carried out by Avery Dennison, titled “The Missing Billions”, uncovered that on average 6% of apparel inventory is wasted due to overproduction or damaged stock – the equivalent of 3% of annual profits and an estimated £12.7 billion globally.