You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but one company is showing that you can turn old clothes into new ones, and it’s great news for the environment.
“This machine magically turns old clothes into new ones! And it could stop mountains of clothing ending up in landfill,” he opens by saying.
Designed in Hong Kong by HKRITA (Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel), the system, called Garment to Garment (G2G), is meant to “show the recycling potential of old clothing with new technology,” as Bentley states. It demonstrates an environmentally friendly, closed-loop garment recycling process that uses no water or chemicals, according to the G2G website.
As the process plays in the video, Bentley explains that the old garment is cleaned and then processed into a fibrous web. This web is then spun into strong twisted yarns, and once the yarn is made, it can be mechanically knitted into new clothes. The machine even has a 3-D body scanner, allowing for a tailor-fit garment to be made on the spot.
“The world definitely needs more solutions like this!” Bentley ends with, and he couldn’t be more right.
The fashion industry produces 100 billion garments annually, per Earth.org, accounting for between 2% and 8% of global carbon air pollution and creating 20% of all wastewater globally. Over 100 million tons of textile waste gets sent to landfills each year, and in the United States, thrown-away clothing is the number one source of textile waste.
Fast fashion — the business model for clothing companies that mass produce low-quality yet trendy clothing at the lowest cost possible — is especially problematic as the clothes are expressly made not to last.
While thrifting can be a great way to lengthen the life of a clothing item, and several big companies, like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher, to name a couple, have trade-in programs in place to keep clothes out of the trash, the industry has a long way to go in mitigating its effect on the environment.
All this considered, the comment section of Bentley’s video was filled with praise for G2G.
“This is a good step in [the] right direction,” said one viewer. This sentiment was echoed by another who said: “This is so amazing!! A beautiful example of tech for good.”
“I’ve never understood why textile recycling hasn’t come along further,” commented another. “Why is this not everywhere??”
Good question, and hopefully, it will be soon.
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