Waste management company MYGroup – which is a plastic recycling partner for several UK retailers, including Boots and The Body Shop – has announced it is building a textiles remanufacturing factory in Hull.
Based on the site of its existing headquarters, the new factory is set to open by 2024 and is supported by a £500,000 round of investment.
The new factory, which aims to promote more circular fashion behaviours, will comprise 1,300 sq m over two storeys – and it is being constructed within a derelict former laboratory and offices at MYGroup’s Morley Street campus.
Textiles remanufacturing from waste clothing, accessories, and home furnishings will take place at the new facility. According to MYGroup, textiles will enter a sorting and grading room before being processed through a commercial-grade cleaning cycle and a deconstruction process to remove hardware, such as zippers and buttons, and separate multi-materials.
Once cleaned and broken down to bare constituent materials, the textiles will be made into new products by MYGroup’s ‘ReFactory’ team. Indeed, MYGroup said it will employ a multi-disciplinary team at the new site – from designers, pattern cutters and sewing machinists, to sales and administrative support staff.
A key aim of the project is to divert textile waste from landfill and incineration, reducing demand for virgin resources and mitigating the environmental impact of textile production.
MYGroup’s ‘MYboard’ material – created from processed waste plastic – will be used for interior walls at the site, which will also have sensor-lighting in high-traffic areas and water-saving toilets. MYGroup has also recently purchased industrial sewing machines and other specialist equipment from a ceased clothing manufacturer, meaning some of the machinery it intends to use is redeployed rather than bought new.
The first phase of the textiles remanufacturing factory is expected to be complete this autumn, and that will include the sewing floor, pattern-cutting studio and storage. Further phases will add the sorting, grading and washing spaces, as well as offices and a training centre.
A further £400,000 investment is planned for the factory. Katie Robinson, textiles manager at MYGroup, said: “The landscape of the fashion and textiles industry is changing.
“No longer can the linear model of ‘take, make and dispose’ continue. Legislation to enforce a more circular approach is fast approaching and we are seeing more and more of the largest brands in the industry engaging with us on recycling their waste textiles.”
Steve Carrie, director at MYGroup, added: “We are proud to launch this pioneering venture that showcases the company and the city of Hull’s commitment to sustainability and innovation.
“We’re ahead of the curve and building a factory of the future – our end-to-end recycling process combined with remanufacturing capabilities will revolutionise the way our industry thinks about textiles waste.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]