Can you also produce ring spun yarns from Recover™ fiber?
In addition to open end yarns, Recover™ has successfully produced ring spun yarns. The spinning process and quality of these yarns has been validated by key suppliers and retailers.
Does the presence of trims (e.g., buttons, zippers, etc.) affect the recyclability of products?
No, it doesn’t. The latest Recover™ recycling technology can automatically remove these contaminating elements.
What kind of textile waste can Recover™ recycle?
Recover™ recycles three categories of textile waste: post-industrial, pre-consumer, and post-consumer.
- Post-industrial: This is textile fabric waste from garment manufacturing, also called clips or scraps.
- Pre-consumer: These are finished garments that could not be sold or used. They might include default goods or overstock.
- Post-consumer: These are garments that have been worn. Recover™ recycles garments that are deemed not suitable for re-use.
How many times can Recover fibers be recycled?
Recover™ fibers can be recycled for several cycles. Fibers will degrade over time, and therefore, we do recommend blending Recover™ recycled fibers with carrier fibers to ensure optimal quality and performance of the final fabric or product.
Can Recover™ recycle blends?
Recover™ can currently recycle Cotton/Polyester blends. However, there are several nuances to take into account. Recover™ must carefully review all aspects of the blend in order to minimize any limitations in the applicability of the recycled fibers into yarns and finished fabrics.
Some of these considerations might include:
- The % of polyester in the recyclable materials.
- The required polyester content in the yarn to be spun.
- The required % of recycled materials in the yarn.
Recycled fibers made from textiles with elastane content will have no spinning issues with heavy thread counts but be problematic with fine thread counts. To achieve optimal recyclability of your materials & products, elastane should be avoided.
What’s Recover’s USP, how is your setup (supply chain) or your fiber better than other solutions on the market?
Recover ™ is a leading materials science company and global producer of low-impact, high-performance recycled cotton fiber and cotton fiber blends. We deliver innovative and cost competitive recycled fibers and circular solutions at scale. We are constantly innovating and incorporating new technologies with an expert team that guarantees brands and partners value and teamwork.
Recover™ brings over 75 years of experience in mechanical recycling to the table. For the past 3 years, Recover™ has worked with the best machine manufacturers to co-create state-of-the-art recycling technology that is exclusive to Recover™. Furthermore, Recover™ has a unique and proprietary color matching process, RColorBlend, that allows us to deliver fiber that is already colored eliminating the need to overdye the cotton.
Through third certifications and verifications (including GRS, OCS, UN Global Compact, Higg FEM/FSLM) we ensure the highest standards in environmentally and socially responsible production. We also perform LCA studies to enable us to continuously improve and provide optimal transparency to the industry and end-consumers regarding our sustainability performance. According to Higg MSI, Recover™ recycled cotton fiber generously outperforms conventional cotton fiber across all 5 categories: Global warming, Eutrophication, Water scarcity, Fossil fuel depletion and Chemistry (Higg MSI at msi.higg.org V3.3)
We are not an on-demand supplier, we build strategic alliances with retailers. We have price stability and the opportunity to establish long-term projects by signing agreements that guarantee a commitment to the recycled fiber capacity. Our focus on achieving the lowest impact, highest quality of recycled fiber on the market and our project scalability makes us unique and pioneers.
What kind of fiber products does Recover™ produce?
Recover™ offers two families of recycled fiber products: RCotton and RColorBlend.
RCotton is a family of Recover fiber products made from unblended recycled cotton fiber, suitable for overdyeing (RPure, RMix, RDenim).
RColorBlend is a family of Recover™ fiber products that have undergone our proprietary ColorBlend Process to achieve the perfect combination of performance and color matching accuracy (RBlue, REarth).
What kind of traceability does Recover™ provide of their feedstock back to the source?
We source our pre- and post-consumer feedstock directly from brands/suppliers and textile sorters/recyclers respectively. Recycled fiber lots from these materials can be traced back to these origins when requested.
Recover™ is also GRS certified. The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled Content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. The goal of the GRS is to increase the use of recycled materials in products and reduce/eliminate the harm caused by its production.
The objectives of the GRS are:
- Alignment of definitions across multiple applications.
- Track and trace recycled input materials.
- Provide customers (both brands and consumers) with a tool to make informed decisions.
- Reduce the harmful impact of production to both people and the environment.
- Provide assurance that materials in the final product are recycled and processed more sustainably.
- Drive innovation in addressing quality issues in the use of Recycled materials.
Recover™ recently joined the Circular Fashion Partnership project with Global Fashion Agenda, Reverse Resources, BGMEA and P4G, where we will seek to enhance traceability of our post-industrial waste to the factory of origin via the Reverse Resources platform.
Does Recover™ take back used garments?
Recover™ does not collect used textiles. We source post-consumer materials through established textile collection and sorting companies. These companies operate in-store take-back programs, but also municipal or door-to-door collection. We recommend that end-consumers avoid throwing away their used textiles and dispose of them instead via one of their local take-back schemes.
Where can I donate my used garments?
If you are looking to dispose of textile waste, currently the best option is to look locally: textile-specific collection bins, or through associations and in-store take-back programs. If you are looking to dispose textile waste in bulk, your best option would be to contact textile sorters.
If you are from Europe, note that the European Union is currently working on the textile waste strategy and will surely impose to separate textile waste by 2025.
Where do you source the post-industrial, pre-consumer, and post-consumer cotton waste from?
Recover™ sources feedstock from all over the world.
Our main raw material is post-industrial textiles waste. The biggest sources of post-industrial waste are the main manufacturing hubs.
Post-consumer garments are sourced from textile sorters/recyclers who are able to sort these textiles by color and composition, which is a requirement for the Recover™ process.
Recover™ sources pre-consumer garments in dialogue with brands/retailers and suppliers who own and store these materials, and we check with them whether strategies to keep the garments in use have been exhausted first.
How does the ColorBlend system work? Can the ColorBlend system generate every possible color?
RColorBlend is a proprietary process. Here’s how it works: Recover™ dye-free recycled fiber is blended with other carrier fibers that have been low-impact dyed (rPET, organic cotton, nylon, Tencel©) to create new fibers with accurate and unique colors.
Recover™ offers a catalog of standard color palettes which evolve season-to-season to match the industry’s trends. In addition, custom colors can be developed to meet customers’ design and production demands.
What testing do you provide for your products?
At Recover™, we have implemented our own chemical management protocol to ensure the chemical compliance of our products and to provide a robust safety guarantee to our customers. Our protocol includes:
- Substance testing: Recover™ performs chemical testing aligned with the AFIRM RSL. If there are any differences in accepted thresholds from country to country, Recover™ aligns with the most restrictive threshold.
- Testing frequency: Recover™ currently tests every lot of fiber that is produced.
- Testing quality: Recover™ works with external labs that are ISO 17025 certified.
- Non-compliance policy: If a non-compliance is detected, the fiber from this batch will not be sold to any Recover™ customers.
- Access to information: Recover™ test reports are generated per lot produced. These reports can be shared on request.
- Policy evaluation: Each year Recover™ will perform a risk assessment and adjust the testing protocol accordingly.
Are the lead times for Recover™ fiber longer than for other (virgin) raw materials?
Recover™ lead times are no different than those of other raw material suppliers. RCotton products will be available for immediate shipping as inventory will be maintained through a stock service program.
For RColorBlend products, Recover™ offers around 40 standard colors for which the same lead time applies.
Lead times for RColorBlend custom colors require an additional 1-2 weeks, depending on how fast the color development and confirmation can be done.
What are Recover™ plans for expanding capacity?
Recover™ is investing globally to increase recycling capacities, with plans to reach 350,000 metric tons of recycled cotton fiber per year in 2026. We want to achieve maximum output by being where the waste is – in other words, we strategically place our facilities close to both supply and demand, ultimately reducing our carbon footprint.
The Recover™ headquarter is based in Banyeres de Mariola, Spain. Our operations in Spain will be expanded with a greater investment in product development.
We have just opened our first facility in Bangladesh, in alliance with our partner BEXIMCO. To reinforce our presence, we opened a second hub in Dhaka in 2022.
We are also working hard with Artistic Denim Mills (ADM), our partners in Pakistan, to scale the use of recycled cotton from post-consumer denim.
What is Recover™ contribution to circular systems?
Recover™ produces, at scale, high-quality recycled fibers from the three categories of textile waste (post-industrial, pre-consumer and post-consumer textile waste).
Recover™ works with brands and supply chain partners to apply circular design principles, by creating products that are fit for a circular system and provides full traceability and transparency regarding our company’s environmental and social impacts. We apply strict social and environmental standards in our facilities and promote environmental and socially responsible practices within our partner network and beyond. Recover™ promotes new policies, standards and practices that support the transition to circularity through advocacy (policy), thought leadership and action leadership.
A view of agriculture that works in alignment with natural systems, recognizing the value and resilience of interconnected and mutually beneficial ecosystems vs. extractive agriculture systems. An acknowledgement that Indigenous and Native peoples have been employing this approach to growing food and fiber for centuries—it is not a new concept— and that regenerative agriculture must include a focus on social justice. Regenerative agriculture practices are relevant to all natural fibers, whether produced by cropping (cotton, bast fibers, other row crops used as biosynthetic feedstocks); grazing (leather, wool, and other animal fibers); or forestry (man-made cellulosic fibers, rubber plantations). Examples of regenerative practices include but are not limited to: crop rotations, cover cropping, reduction of off-farm inputs alongside maximization of on-farm inputs, diversification of pasture species, managed grazing rotations, silvopasture (combining trees with livestock and forage production), windbreaks, and alley cropping (growing agricultural crops alongside long-term tree crops). (Source: Regenerative Agriculture Landscape Analysis from Textile Exchange)
Microfibres are typically defined as any natural or synthetic microscopic fibres shed from textiles or related fibre-based products with a diameter of >50 micrometers, a length from 1 μm to 5 mm, and length to diameter ratio greater than 100. Microfibres are expected to come principally from apparel and clothing, as this represents the main use of both natural and synthetic fibres. (source: Microfibres: the invisible polution form textiles - First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute)
Material that has been reprocessed from recovered material by means of a manufacturing process and made into a final product or into a component for incorporation into goods or services.
Fabric that hasn't been used due to quantity or quality and there is no plan for use.
Relates directly to relevant information that has been made available to all elements of the value chain in a standardized way, which allows common understanding, accessibility, clarity, and comparison.
Previously unused raw material such as wood, plant or animal fiber, metal ores, or petroleum.
thing for which the generator or holder has no further use and which is discarded or is released to the environment.
Material remaining after textile processing that cannot be manufactured into finished goods.
Goods that have been available to sell and not sold or merchandise with defects or quality issues.
A characteristic of goods or packaging that has been conceived and designed to accomplish within its life cycle a certain number of trips, rotations or uses for the same purpose for which it was conceived.
Textiles that have cycled through the value chain through use, reuse, repair, and remaking such that all readily accessible value is spent. Spent textiles are the feedstock for recycling processes that generate new material.
An initiative organized by a manufacturer, brand, or retailer to collect used products, components, or materials for refurbishment, re-manufacturing, recycling, resale, or other secondary purposes. For hazardous materials or those with no recoverable value, this includes safe disposal.
The ability to identify and trace the history, distribution, location and application of products, parts and materials, to ensure the reliability of sustainability claims, in the areas of human rights, labor (including health and safety), the environment and anti-corruption.
The system that records and follows the trail as products, parts, and materials come from suppliers and are processed and ultimately distributed as end products. Often when someone says ‘traceability system’ they mean an online traceability/tracking system, but this does not have to be the case. Systems used to ensure traceability vary widely and are designed to be fit for purpose (e.g. could be paper based or only go to a limited level of detail).
This is textile fabric waste from garment manufacturing, also called clips or scraps. Many times, post-industrial waste is grouped together with pre-consumer waste into one category: pre-consumer waste.
A characteristic of a product, packaging, or associated component that can be diverted from the waste stream through available processes and programs and can be collected, processed, and returned to use in the form of raw materials or products.
Proportion, by mass, of recycled material in goods or packaging. Only pre-consumer and post-consumer materials shall be considered as recycled content.
A site designated for the disposal of solid waste.
An accounting approach used to trace material through a value chain. This approach is often applied in the allocation of recycled content to different products with complex material properties.
Processes that use physical means such as shredding or melting to transform waste into feedstocks for new materials. For textiles, the output of mechanical recycling is a fiber or other material that can be used to make new yarn and fabric.
These are finished garments that could not be sold or used. These can be default goods or overstock for example.
Describes material generated by households or by commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product that can no longer be used for its intended purpose. This includes returns of materials from the distribution chain.
Design for recycling
Builds on the concept of design for disassembly to further specify the selection of materials that can be readily recycled. Strategies employed by this approach include designing single-fiber garments or selecting materials for which there are commercial recycling technologies available.
The ability of a material to remain serviceable for a long time without significant deterioration in quality or value. Generally, durability is determined by fiber type, fabric and garment construction and can be tested through, for example, abrasion resistance, fabric pilling, fabric handle, fabric stiffness, colourfastness, dimensional stability and stretch recovery.
A raw material supplied to a machine or processing plant.
Destroys waste material through burning. When the incinerated material is used to fuel an electric generator, incineration is referred to as “energy recovery” or “resource recovery”.
A polluting or poisonous substance that makes something impure Cut-Make-Trim (CMT): A three-stage production process wherein material is cut to a pattern (“cut”), sewn together (“make”), and finished (“trim”).
Design for durability
A concept that prioritizes design choices that will enhance product durability. Considerations include style, cut, fit, raw material selection, color, dye, and finish selection, and manufacturing specifications.
Any process that changes a polymer’s chemical structure to produce substances that can be used as raw materials to manufacture new products. Sometimes called advanced recycling.