Garment life & redefining textile waste

Can we redefine our relationship with raw materials and textile products such that we place a higher value on existing resources rather than tapping into new ones? The model for production and consumption of these goods has fallen into a perilous cycle of “consume, discard, and then repeat”.  The result is substantial waste, high costs, and environmental degradation. However, technological innovations exist today that can help producers implement new production methods and deliver better products with lower environmental impacts. The industry needs to abandon legacy thinking about what it takes to produce textiles and expectations for garment life.   

Here at CO2Nexus, we’re deploying the TERSUS platform to help organizations change some of the raw mechanics of textile production with a relatively elegant swap of water for carbon dioxide. Functionally, the TERSUS platform can reduce the use of harmful chemicals, reduce water and energy use, and capture waste streams on board the machine in a variety of production processes. Our team is helping organizations rethink what is possible without water, the industry’s preferred solvent for textile processing.  

While these technological changes may be elegant, the cultural change may be the more complex innovation for the industry. Many producers and consumers have yet to redefine their understanding of garment and textile life, and of the potential for materials recycling. Seasonal sales cycles fuel the consumption of new garments every year while outdated styles wind up in landfills. The nature of consumer demand also creates pressures at the production level that encourage underutilization of existing materials. 

So while the TERSUS platform is optimized to clean and re-coat recycled fibers for use in new products, only a few organizations are currently working to redefine garment life and repurpose materials and products. For the rest, the consequences include higher costs to consumers, untapped product opportunities, and unrealized responsibilities to the environment.

It can take years to redefine cultures. But a solution exists today for those who don’t need to be convinced that longer garment life is valuable. In early November, CO2Nexus will be attending the Textile Sustainability Conference in Portland, Oregon to learn more about other firms that are driving meaningful change in the textile industry. We’re optimistic that a cultural awakening is at hand.

Contact us to learn more about how to redefine textile processing with the TERSUS platform to enhance garment performance and life. We look forward to hearing from you.