After oil, the fashion industry is the most polluting industry in the world. It takes 2,700 liters of water to produce a single T-shirt. That amount of water is enough to provide one person with drinking water for 2,5 years. Not to mention all the microplastics, carbon emissions and towering mountains of textile waste that it produces year on year.
The motto of start-up HTEX is that instead of needing more raw materials, we should become better at converting ‘old’ used raw materials into new ones. The company has developed a recycling technique that can convert clothing waste into raw materials. Their chemical recycling method breaks down polyester clothing waste into the original raw materials for polyester: ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. These can then be made into clothing again. “What takes the earth twenty million years, we do in twenty minutes,” CEO Niek Hokken says in this instalment of start-up of the day. HTEX is focusing initially on polyester, but this technology can basically convert all types of textiles into raw materials.
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