The UKFT, a network for fashion and textile companies, is working on a project to improve the visibility of data flows.

The Digital Supply Chain Hub Testbed for Textiles project aims to address the issue of the approximately one million tonnes of used textiles which are created in the UK every year. 

According to the UKFT, the UK is moving to redirect more than 400,000 tonnes of low-value, non-reusable textiles from landfill into UK-based textile recycling plants and enable retailers, collectors, sorters, recyclers and manufacturers to understand and report on used textile flows.  

The Digital Supply Chain Hub Testbeds, funded by Digital Catapult’s Made Smarter Innovation programme, focuses on the circular economy. It is hoped that these testbeds, using emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, will lead to the development of new tools and services that will bolster the efficiency and resilience of supply chains.   

UKFT will be working over the next 21 months with collectors, sorters and recyclers of post-consumer textiles, and the project lead Circle-8 Ecosystems to develop technical solutions to access and use cross-supply chain data to deliver key insights into the economics and values of post-consumer textile waste to retailers and others in the supply chain. 

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, said: “We are entering an exciting new era for the UK textiles industry: understanding textile flows and facilitating transparency will build the commercial viability of fibre-to-fibre recycling, which in turn builds a strong future for our industry.”