Solidança, a social organisation engaged in the social and solidarity economy and with extensive experience in gathering and recovering textile waste under the Roba Amiga brand, has teamed up with the Eurecat technology centre using Catalan Waste Agency grants promoting the circular economy to eco-design a container for collecting post-consumer clothing made from the textile waste handled by the organisation and which enhances circularity in the textile industry.

The organisation’s goal is “to get a container for collecting textile waste in enclosed spaces with the special feature that the container itself is made from non-woven fabrics recycled from post-consumer textile waste,” says Andrea Membrado, Solidança/Roba Amiga’s communications manager. “This textile waste would have ended up in landfill or incineration plants whereas with this initiative Solidança/Roba Amiga has found an alternative use for the recycled material. We collect more waste with the waste, which also raises awareness among the general public who can see a recycling application for the textile waste they bring to the container.”

Eurecat has delivered scientific and technological development support for the project through its Functional Fabrics and Waste, Energy and Environmental Impact technology units to furnish a value proposition based on the need to recover textile waste in the industry coupled with local manufacturing to lessen environmental impact. Eurecat’s Product Innovation & Multiphysics Simulation Unit analysed the proposed materials and designs using finite element calculations to assess whether the suggested designs met the social organisation’s needs.

“This is a standout project in which along with bringing its expertise in eco-design, creativity and environmental impact assessment, Eurecat has also been the link connecting players in the Catalan circular value chain from waste collection and selection through shredding and transformation into a new material and ending with the manufacture of the new product,” points out Virginia Garcia, director of the Functional Fabrics Unit at Eurecat.

“This year’s waste prevention week has addressed the problem of textile waste and generating new applications which help raise awareness and keep textile waste in contact with the industry, such as the Circutex container, as part of the drive to rework today’s paradigms,” adds Frederic Clarens, director of Eurecat’s Waste, Energy and Environmental Impact Unit

The new container is made of 70 percent recycled polyester from textile waste and will make it possible to add to and step up the Roba Amiga cooperative’s textile collection strategies to help achieve the milestones set by the new regulations.