Concordia Textiles recycles textile fibres to their original quality
Just burning ready-made clothing is no longer acceptable. It is time for this industry, one of the most polluting in the world, to become environmentally friendly. The textile company Concordia Textiles from Waregem in West Flanders has understood that very well: it is already testing a new technology for recycling textile fibers into their original state in other words 'rejuvenating'.
Spinning involves twisting fibres into yarn. Concordia, on the other hand, untwists textile waste, so it applies the reverse process whereby everything is unravelled again into 30 mm-long fibres. This is also known as reverse spinning. Traditional recycling technology simply shreds the waste into 12 to 15 mm-long fibres, with far fewer uses. Concordia produces technical textiles for a wide range of products: suits for fire-fighters fighting forest fires, protective clothing for high-voltage workers, for racing pilots, bullet-proof vests, sleeping bags, tents, waterproof shoes, even special fabrics for disc brakes in cars and for horse blankets.
The challenge now is to set up production lines in other parts of Asia, after India, for processing waste from ready-made clothing companies. Bringing everything to Concordia Textiles' home base in Waregem would not be in line with the sustainability principle. The company hopes to be processing 10 tons per day per line by early 2022, or the equivalent of its full capacity of 3,000 tons per year.