Recycled

The UK is one of the largest textile waste producers in Europe. As individuals we contribute an average of 3.1kg of textile waste annually making a total of 1 million tonnes per year. There are a number of ways to prevent such waste, we can buy less, look for slow fashion rather than fast fashion, and explore ways of producing clothing more sustainably. One of the most sustainable forms of processing is to use a closed loop or circular system. Here materials are used to create a product, the product is used, then at the end of its useful life the materials are reused or recycled to create the same product and the cycle begins again. Such a system creates as little waste as possible. Until recently, fashion and clothing has only been considered to have a linear economy as textile recycling is full of challenges such as the need to separate blended fibres and remove contaminants.

In January 2024, the Loopamid x Zara padded parka (1) was the first to use a breakthrough textile-to-textile circular process. Every part of the jacket, including the fabric, buttons and zip, is made of BASF’s Loopamid nylon 6 material which exhibits the same characteristics as virgin polyamide and can be recycled multiple times. BASF worked with Inditex, owner of the Zara brand, and used a ‘design for recycling’ approach. This is a milestone toward circularity in the fashion industry.

1

The project sought multiple fashion industry partners to ensure Loopamid’s use throughout the garment including:

  • ModaRe, a collection program that classified, sorted, and provided discarded textiles as feedstock;
  • RadiciGroup, who transformed Loopamid into yarns with varying characteristics;
  • YKK and Velcro, who used Loopamid for buttons, zips, and hook-and-loop fasteners;
  • Tessitura Vignetta, and Freudenberg and Gutermann, who supplied the remaining components such as inner labels, filling materials, and threads.

The chemical recycling process used to create Loopamid breaks down pre-used textiles into caprolactam, a monomer liquid. The liquid is purified and polymerized into polyamide 6 resin that is then spun into new fibres or materials.

Regenerate >