Textiles are the fastest growing sector in household waste. More than three million tons of textiles are thrown away each year in the EU alone. A project called Trash-2-Cash brings together designers, researchers, material suppliers and textile manufacturers from all over Europe to solve the problem by recycling and development of high-performance fibers.
Experts from all levels of the production chain are looking to develop techniques that can be used to spin, knit, sew or design innovative, high quality products from used textile fibers. The techniques for pre-processing and washing waste textiles, separating fibers, and fiberisation are designed to be eco-friendly and efficient.
Designers play an important role in the project to ensure that the quality, performance and appearance of the new products appeal to consumers. The aim is to find new markets and uses for recycled textile fibers. Discounting and low retail prices over the last two decades have led to a dramatic increase in consumption of clothing, resuling in the rise of textile waste from the consumer.
The Trash-2-Cash project is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, and will run from 2015 until 2018. The total budget is 8.9 million euro, of which EU funding accounts for 7.9 million euro. The project team includes 18 organizations from 10 EU countries.