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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Jie Zhou, Xingxing Zou and Wai Keung Wong

Efficient and high-accuracy intelligent color and material sorting systems are the main bottlenecks restricting the recycling of waste textiles. The mixing of waste

Abstract

Purpose

Efficient and high-accuracy intelligent color and material sorting systems are the main bottlenecks restricting the recycling of waste textiles. The mixing of waste textiles with different colors will make the reconstructed raw material of textile fiber useless or with low quality. In this study, some challenges about the automatic color sorting for waste textile recycling are discussed. A computer vision-based color sorting system for waste textile recycling is introduced, which can classify the required colors well and meet the efficiency requirements of an automatic recycling line.

Design/methodology/approach

There are four aspects, (1) two cameras with different exposure times and white-balance parameters are involved for establishing the computer vision system. (2) Two standard color databases with two cameras are constructed. (3) A statistical model to determine the colors of textile samples is presented in which uniform sampling of pixels and mid-tone enhancing techniques are exploited. (4) The experiments with a number of waste textile samples from a factory in Hong Kong are conducted to illustrate the efficiency of the developed system.

Findings

The experiments with a number of waste textile samples from a factory in Hong Kong are reported. The total classification accuracy performs good. The research methods and results reported in this study can provide an important reference for improving the intelligent level of color sorting for waste textile recycling.

Originality/value

It is the first time to introduce computer vision technology to a color sorting system for recycling waste textiles, especially in a real recycling factory in Hong Kong. The research methods and results reported in this study also deliver guidance for designing a computer vision-based color sorting system for other industrial scenarios.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Vaida Dobilaite, Gene Mileriene, Milda Juciene and Virginija Saceviciene

Production and consumption of textile garments contribute significantly to environment problems. The purpose of this paper is to perform the evaluation of textile waste

Abstract

Purpose

Production and consumption of textile garments contribute significantly to environment problems. The purpose of this paper is to perform the evaluation of textile waste generated at Lithuanian clothing enterprises based on statistical data analysis and business cases studies.

Design/methodology/approach

For the evaluation of real situation of waste generation in companies, an original methodology was developed and used during investigation. In order to get an overall view, statistical data of waste generation and management in Lithuania were also analysed. Waste accounting covered data such as wastes from unprocessed textile fibres and wastes from processed textile fibres and textiles (not otherwise specified).

Findings

The investigation showed that the amount of cutting waste reaches 20-25 per cent of the total quantity of materials used for production. It was found that the waste is not sorted in Lithuanian clothing enterprises and is disposed in landfills in most cases, notwithstanding the positive tendencies of recycling of waste that were observed during past year. However, a practical recycling strategy and broader perception of developing products with greater added value from waste are missing in Lithuania.

Originality/value

In this research, a simple methodology was developed for determining the quantity of the textile waste generated by enterprises, the introduction of which would allow us to expect better results in waste accounting and management. The results of investigation are useful to gain in-depth understanding of waste generation in various countries.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1999

Tanya Domina and Kathryn Koch

A growing sensitivity to environmental issues has stimulated increased consumer recycling of post‐consumer product waste. Post‐consumer textile waste is a largely untapped…

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2874

Abstract

A growing sensitivity to environmental issues has stimulated increased consumer recycling of post‐consumer product waste. Post‐consumer textile waste is a largely untapped commodity with strong reuse and recycling potential. This study explored consumer practices regarding textile waste disposal. Findings revealed the use of several textile disposal options with significant relationships between options used and attitudes toward recycling. This research is a necessary precursor to the establishment of organised textile recycling programmes.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Sara Keith and Maria Silies

The term luxury and sustainability, within the fashion and textile industries are seldom seen as natural bedfellows. Recently however, the perception of luxury has begun…

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1868

Abstract

Purpose

The term luxury and sustainability, within the fashion and textile industries are seldom seen as natural bedfellows. Recently however, the perception of luxury has begun to include a definition left behind in the twentieth century; beautifully hand crafted artefacts valued for the time, skill and design invested in them. It is possible though, for the concept of luxury textiles to embrace this definition and that of the sustainable credentials of a “Cradle to Cradle” (McDonough and Braungart, 2002) mindset (that of a life beyond original creation) and be fashionable. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising a variety of methodologies including case studies, reflective practice and a practice-based approach; this paper examines the use of pre-consumer waste in the creation of new luxury textiles. Several projects are cited, offering examples of collaboration between textile mills and designers in the creation of new fabrics made from luxury by-products. This luxury waste is routinely shredded for automobile seat filling or landfill, however current sustainable thinking encourages a more creative solution to this circumstance. Designers have a crucial role to play in converting an unwanted by-product to one that is highly desirable.

Findings

Traditional values of what constitutes a luxury item include the concept of time invested in making a unique handmade artefact. More recently, this premise has been overlooked in favour of branded goods. The slow fashion movement advocates the inherent value of craftsmanship coupled with the ethical use of sustainable and or local materials and processes. The traditional techniques of felting, weave and stitch are utilised to create beautiful, original textiles from discarded waste. By collaborating with local mills, designers provide solutions to something that could be perceived as a problem.

Originality/value

The embedded narrative within these layered textiles provides an original quality and added value, building on their Scottish heritage. The resulting textiles reflect their provenance; the landscape they come from and the people who created them. As a result of purchase, the story continues with the new custodian, adding to the ongoing history of the textile. The design work and collaboration that this paper outlines embodies a transferable model for sustainable upcycled luxury textiles.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 28 May 2021

Ainur Rosyida, Suranto, Mohammad Masykuri and Margono

This paper aims to select a type of mordant from aluminium salts, namely, aluminium sulphate, aluminium nitrate and polyaluminium chloride (PAC) with the lowest potential…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to select a type of mordant from aluminium salts, namely, aluminium sulphate, aluminium nitrate and polyaluminium chloride (PAC) with the lowest potential for contamination so that their use will minimise pollution from natural dye waste. It also aims to determine the pollution value of natural dye immersion waste from jackfruit wood extract, secang wood, mangsi fruit and several synthetic dyes, to identify potential environmental pollution.

Design/methodology/approach

Dyeing with natural dyes was performed by exhaust at room temperature by the pre-mordant method, while with synthetic dyes it was performed by exhaust according to the dyeing procedure (reactive, vat and naphthol). The groundwater, mordant solutions, natural dye extract and the waste-water from the natural and synthetic dyes were then tested to determine their biological oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), pH, Al and heavy metal contents such as chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co) and lead (Pb).

Findings

Aluminium sulphate had the lowest pollution load while PAC had the highest, as aluminium sulphate had a higher BOD5/COD ratio (0.62–0.67) than aluminium nitrate (0.56–0.64) or PAC (0.44–0.54). The dyeing waste from the three natural dyes contained an acidic pH of 3.5–4.2, Al of 75.280–621.34 mg/L, Cr of 0.154–0.215 mg/L and Cu of 0.035–0.072 mg/L. The values of TSS, COD and BOD5 are higher than the quality standards of the waste but are environmentally friendly because the ratio of the BOD5/COD values from the waste ranges from 0.44–0.67.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate that as a mordant, aluminium sulphate results in lower pollution loads than aluminium nitrate and PAC. However, all three mordants contain Cr and Cu, albeit in negligible concentrations. Therefore, it is recommended that future studies strive to identify a mordant that has lower pollution loads and does not contain metals but can increase dyeing results to satisfy consumer requirements. It is the hope that, with the discovery of a new mordant, natural dyes will be the solution for the heavy metal pollution caused by synthetic dyes.

Practical implications

The use of environmentally-friendly mordants and natural dyes in the Indonesian textile and batik industry will give rise to superior quality eco-textile and eco-batik products. Such environmentally-friendly and high-quality products will not only increase competition and consumer interest but increase product sales as well which will, in turn, increase incomes and the economy. Additionally, an increase in the use of natural dyes by the textile and batik industry will serve as additional income to the communities and farmers from which the raw materials for the natural dyes are sourced thereby creating jobs and increasing welfare.

Social implications

As environmentally-friendly mordants and natural dyes replace the hazardous and toxic materials currently used in the textile and batik industry, it guarantees the health and safety of its consumers and workers. Furthermore, as the waste-water produced is biodegradable, it reduces river and groundwater pollution. It is, therefore, expected that this information will not only lead to a shift in attitude within the textile and batik industries but the adoption of environmentally-friendly materials, for the sake of the environment, as well as the development of eco-textile and eco-batik products.

Originality/value

Aluminium sulphate is a mordant type of aluminium salt with a lower potential for contamination than aluminium nitrate and PAC. However, PAC has been discovered to be a mordant for natural dyes, as has the fruit of the mangsi shrub, which has recently been discovered as a naturally occurring blue dye.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Jeferson Correia, Ana Júlia Dal Forno, Cintia Marangoni and José Alexandre Borges Valle

The purpose of this paper is to identify and diagnosis waste management practices used by clothing manufacturing companies in Santa Catarina state Brazil.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and diagnosis waste management practices used by clothing manufacturing companies in Santa Catarina state Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this multiple case study were obtained from interviews and by using a questionnaire to collect company data. After the analysis of the responses to questionnaires issued to 22 companies, a scoring system was developed to systematically classify these companies at either a basic, intermediate or advanced levels.

Findings

According to the classification used, eight companies were characterized at the basic level, eight at the intermediate level and six as advanced. Most of the companies have already implemented measures for reuse or recycling of textile scraps, probably because of the economic value added.

Research limitations/implications

The classification system proposed proved to be an effective tool for identifying: if each company had a plan of action involving requirements of Brazil’s National Solid Waste Policy; if the company had a management system in accordance with Law 12,305; the quality of solid waste treatment at the entire company and in its clothing sector; if the company adopted shared responsibility actions; and if it had knowledge of the negative environmental impacts.

Originality/value

This paper presents a classification system for companies based on a questionnaire. The system allows determining the degree of compliance with Brazilian waste management legislation.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 May 2019

Marjo Määttänen, Sari Asikainen, Taina Kamppuri, Elina Ilen, Kirsi Niinimäki, Marjaana Tanttu and Ali Harlin

While aiming to create methods for fibre recycling, the question of colours in waste textiles is also in focus; whether the colour should be kept or should be removed…

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2647

Abstract

Purpose

While aiming to create methods for fibre recycling, the question of colours in waste textiles is also in focus; whether the colour should be kept or should be removed while recycling textile fibre. More knowledge is needed for colour management in a circular economy approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The research included the use of different dye types in a cotton dyeing process, the process for decolourizing and the results. Two reactive dyes, two direct dyes and one vat dye were used in the study. Four chemical treatment sequences were used to evaluate colour removal from the dyed cotton fabrics, namely, HCE-A, HCE-P-A, HCE-Z-P-A and HCE-Y-A.

Findings

The objective was to evaluate how different chemical refining sequences remove colour from direct, reactive and vat dyed cotton fabrics, and how they influence the specific cellulose properties. Dyeing methods and the used refining sequences influence the degree of colour removal. The highest achieved final brightness of refined cotton materials were between 71 and 91 per cent ISO brightness, depending on the dyeing method used.

Research limitations/implications

Only cotton fibre and three different colour types were tested.

Practical implications

With cotton waste, it appears to be easier to remove the colour than to retain it, especially if the textile contains polyester residues, which are desired to be removed in the textile refining stage.

Originality/value

Colour management in the CE context is an important new track to study in the context of the increasing amount of textile waste used as a raw material.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2019

Ida Marie Sandvik and Wendy Stubbs

The purpose of this paper is to explore the drivers, inhibitors and enablers of creating a textile-to-textile recycling system in the Scandinavian fashion industry. It…

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5777

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the drivers, inhibitors and enablers of creating a textile-to-textile recycling system in the Scandinavian fashion industry. It investigates the technology, innovation and systemic changes required to enable circular supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study uses a qualitative, interpretivist approach, drawing on in-depth semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the Scandinavian fashion industry.

Findings

The main inhibitors to textile-to-textile recycling systems in the Scandinavian fashion industry are: limited technology which creates a challenge for separating materials; high costs of research and development and building the supporting logistics; complexity of supply chains including the multitude of stakeholders involved in product development. The enablers are design and use of new materials, increased garment collection and collaboration. This research suggests that sorting and recycling technology can be enhanced with the use of digital technologies, as this would create transparency, traceability and automatisation.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by a small sample size and lack of representation of all key stakeholder groups, which limits the ability to generalise these findings. However, as an exploratory study, the findings provide insights that can be further tested in other contexts.

Originality/value

Understanding of textile-to-textile recycling is emerging both theoretically and practically, however, there is still much that is not understood. This research contributes to furthering understanding of how technology, collaboration and systemic change in the fashion industry can support opportunities for textile-to-textile recycling, thereby aligning with circular economy principles.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2021

Anna Zhuravleva and Anna Aminoff

The European Union (EU) member states are obligated to implement the separate collection of textile waste by the year 2025. Nowadays, non-profit organizations (NPOs) are…

Abstract

Purpose

The European Union (EU) member states are obligated to implement the separate collection of textile waste by the year 2025. Nowadays, non-profit organizations (NPOs) are the largest collectors of post-use textiles. In support of upcoming changes, this study develops an understanding of barriers and drivers for establishing partnerships between NPOs and companies in reverse textile supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts the embedded single-case design. The main data source is semi-structured interviews with NPOs, companies and research institutes in Finland, identified through intensity case sampling. The drivers and barriers are categorized into seven categories: environmental, economic, social, institutional, technological and informational, supply chain and organizational categories.

Findings

This study elaborates on the barriers and drivers in a new context of textile valorization and prioritizes them. The study identifies the alignment of interests and goals, increased transparency and clarity of terminology and other main factors in establishing the partnership.

Research limitations/implications

Expanding the geographical boundaries of current research will capture the experiences of NPOs and companies in other contextual settings.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the existing knowledge with a broad picture of different barriers and drivers. The findings intend to support the integration of NPOs in reverse textile supply chains.

Social implications

The partnership can potentially minimize the export of post-use textiles to developing countries, thus reducing the negative environmental footprint and social impact of the textile industry.

Originality/value

The study looks at an emerging form of partnership between NPOs and companies in reverse supply chains for enabling valorization of post-use textiles.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Kerli Kant Hvass

The purpose of this paper is to study the reuse and recycling of garments from the fashion industry's perspective. Through multiple case studies the paper maps the…

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6236

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the reuse and recycling of garments from the fashion industry's perspective. Through multiple case studies the paper maps the emerging organizational field of post-retail responsibility of garments, describing how and why several fashion companies have engaged with reuse and recycling practices and which opportunities and challenges they face.

Design/methodology/approach

The study relies on the qualitative multiple explorative case study method. The data were collected from 12 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven fashion companies and documentation analyses of two companies. Data were analyzed using the thematic analyses approach. The main limitation of the study is the limited selection of cases and therefore a larger data set and further studies are required to extend the understanding of the phenomenon for more generalized statements and in-depth understanding.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that post-retail responsibility of fashion is an emerging field in the fashion industry that offers several business opportunities to fashion companies, but also requires rethinking of existing value propositions and engagement of a wider stakeholder group in order to find sustainable solutions for garments’ end of life. The field is still new with limited best practice, however, two main strategies of how fashion companies address post-retail responsibility of their products can be distinguished: second hand retailing and product take-back schemes.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to research by advancing understanding of fashion industry's role in the end-of-life of their products and the associated opportunities and challenges. This study belongs to the first round of research that directly addresses the post-consumer textile waste from the fashion industry's perspective.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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