The consumption of new textiles is increasing every year. Currently Swedish consumers buy an average of 12.5 kg of textiles per person per year, but only around a fifth of those are collected when they are no longer used.
Consumption and production of new textiles causes great environmental impact. By reusing textiles instead of buying new, and recycle textiles that are worn out, we can reduce the consumption of new raw materials, water, energy and chemicals.
But increased reuse and recycling is difficult to achieve unless the textiles are collected. To increase the collection rate, transparent management that increases the credibility and encourages serious players in the textile market is needed. Today, the collection, sorting, reuse and recycling of textiles is largely unregulated in the Nordic region. IVL works with systems to ensure that the collection of clothes leads to reuse or recycling of materials.
IVL is working to establish the automated sorting of textiles in Sweden and to develop methods to better quantify textile waste volumes from various businesses. IVL also works with the development of recommendations for how textiles containing hazardous substances should be identified and managed.