Crystal Group, the Hong Kong-based apparel manufacturer, has teamed up with PurFi, a US technology firm, for a pilot project that aims to recycle the textile waste at its garment manufacturing unit in Sri Lanka.
The project aims to completely recycle the garment waste and convert them into usable yarns. PurFi technology works on ‘rejuvenation’ process involving complex algorithms to produce fibres that are equal to the virgin fibers. It starts by utilising the fabric data derived from the bale of the textile waste, which is then stored into a central database. Then it processes the data to find the most appropriate input stream that matches the target fabric output, through their patented mechanical process of separating and recycling the textile fibres.
Also, the data related to the fibre like fabric composition, yarn count, type of treatments and finishes and its colour and shades are predetermined before arriving at the PurFi reprocessing facility.
“We want to pioneer a wave of change for the garment industry by setting a good example in our waste management approach, taking the initiative to upcycle our fabric waste and regenerate useful materials. There is a robust system for tracking transportation and upcycling processes, which provides high transparency and avoids improper disposals,” said Catherine Chiu, General Manager of Corporate Quality and Sustainability, Crystal International.
The company’s Sri Lanka factory, which manufactures sportswear and intimate wear, produces around 400 tonnes of synthetic and non-biodegradable fabric waste which generally comprises polyester and nylon.
As its future perspective, the factory by 2019 aims to recycle 40 per cent of fabric waste and also plans to scale up by extending the initiative to more factories in the future.
The technology is already being used by big names in the industry like Ford, Mazda, Staple, Walmart, M&S, Sainsbury, Rockline Industries, U-Haul and Nike.