It is currently estimated that only 2% of post-consumer textiles are diverted to fibre-to-fibre recycling*. The fashion industry urgently needs scalable solutions, yet the creation of circular materials to decrease dependency on virgin material has historically proven challenging, with a truckload of textiles being landfilled or burned every second. Although there have been many pilot schemes, no organisation has been able to address the problem alone. The New Cotton Project launched in answer to this challenge, aiming to demonstrate a potential blueprint for commercial circular garment production, and a new more sustainable way of working for the fashion industry.
The newly revealed adidas by Stella McCartney Sportswear Tracksuit Viscose (Gender Neutral) and H&M Group’s utilitarian jacket and trousers, are therefore not just beautiful pieces of clothing created using a new, high-quality Infinna™ fibre created from post-consumer end-of-use textiles: they are a demonstration of the potential of a circular garment eco-system and highlights the industry’s ability to move from a linear to a circular model of production.
Current data suggests up to a quarter of European post-consumer textiles could become textile-to-textile recycling feedstocks in the future. This includes the 494,000 tonnes of low-value post-consumer textiles identified in the recent Sorting for Circularity report as readily available for fibre-to-fibre recycling. An estimate of how much is likely to be a fit for Infinna™ technology will be available later on in the project.
Illustrating the journey of the New Cotton Project for a public audience, the new installation charts the processes and progress of the consortium in the run-up to the release of the garments. Visitors can learn more about the consortium through a multi-media display, including details of the Infinited Fiber Company and manufacturing process, an animation video explaining the workflows, a visual display of some of the garments, and a documentary sharing the experience of the consortium through the voices of the members.
The launch of the garments and the installation marks a two-year point in the three-year project. The final stage of the collaboration will focus on continued data collection, further academic papers from Aalto University and the Life Cycle Assessment, all of which will be shared with the wider industry with the aim of inspiring further circular initiatives in the future.
- Installation at the Fashion for Good museum. Credit: Alina Krasieva
- Adidas by Stella McCartney Sportswear Tracksuit Viscose (Gender Neutral) produced as part of New Cotton Project
- H&M Group’s utilitarian jacket and trousers produced as part of New Cotton Project
* Fashion for Good, Sorting for Circularity Europe Project Report, September 2022
Contact person & email address:
- Melanie Hughes (email)
- Editorial piece about the project (link)
- Aalto University white paper & blueprint (link 1 and link 2)
- Press release about the exhibit launch (link)