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Textile recycling tech: PVH Corp joins On, Patagonia, and Puma in Carbios consortium

Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein parent company PVH Corp has joined a textile recycling technology consortium founded by Carbios alongside fellow fashion players On, Patagonia, Puma, and Salomon.

Together, the businesses want to support industrial-scale development of Carbios’s bio-recycling process, and set new global standards for textile recycling technologies.

Having the additional member on board at this stage can help broaden the scope of application for Carbios’s tech, according to the consortium.

Carbios said that working with its partners over the last two years has meant it has delivered a method for the biological recycling of polyester items at industrial scale, including thorough sorting and dismantling technologies for complex textile waste.

The existing members voted unanimously for PVH Corp to join the consortium. They said: “The aim of our consortium is to support the development of actionable solutions that address the fashion industry’s contribution to climate change and PVH Corp can bring a broader perspective to the project, which is always welcome.”

What is Carbios’s textile recycling tech?

  • Uses “highly selective enzymes” that can recycle blended feedstocks, which Carbios said reduces extensive sorting required by current thermomechanical recycling methods
  • For mixed fibre textile materials, Carbios said its patented enzyme acts solely on the PET polyester found within products. This process creates recycled PET – or “r-PET” – which is equivalent in quality to virgin PET, and can be used to produce new textile fibres
  • To try to continue improving the textile recycling technologies, Carbios’s consortium members will supply feedstock in the form of apparel, underwear, footwear, and sportswear
  • Carbios has also developed an enzymatic biodegradation technology for PLA-based (a bio sourced polymer) single-use plastics. This technology can create a new generation of plastics the company said are 100% compostable at ambient temperatures.

Esther Verburg, executive vice president, sustainable business & innovation at Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe, commented: “Partnering with Carbios and its consortium members demonstrates our ongoing commitment to including more circular materials in our collections.

“We are excited to support the development of Carbios’s enzymatic recycling technology, leveraging new solutions that can help us to drive fashion forward for good.”

Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios, added: “We are delighted to welcome PVH Corp to join our consortium with other prestigious brands to advance our shared vision of true circularity for the textile industry.”

Read more about circular thinking on Green Retail World

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