A joint venture (JV) to reduce the amount of textile waste going to landfills has been announced by Arvind and PurFi. Currently, only 12% of textiles globally are recycled, and about 1% are upcycled.
As the fashion industry has embraced calls for more circular and sustainable supply chains, proprietary technology from PurFi Global LLC, Tulsa, OK/USA, has emerged as a proven and complete solution for rejuvenating textiles back into virgin-like fibers. Unlike the traditional ‘one-and-done’ recycling approach, the company’s technology can rejuvenate waste materials into virgin-like fibers 17 times, and it can be done at scale.
PurFi and Arvind Ltd., Ahmedabad/India, will locate the first in a series of planned fiber rejuvenation facilities near one of Arvind’s manufacturing facilities in India. This facility will process textile wastes – white cotton, colored cotton, denim and synthetics – into virgin-like fibers for reuse from 2 lines, where each line will have a capacity of 5,500/year with plans to expand over the next 5 years. The investment for these two lines is envisaged at Rs. 200-250 crores (approx. €24 million). Expansion plans include an additional production line that removes elastomers from fabrics utilizing another of PurFi’s proprietary technologies. Currently, 85% of the world’s apparel contains elastomers, which make it very difficult to recycle or rejuvenate. PurFi’s technology is the first commercially viable technology proven to safely remove elastomers without the use of toxic chemicals and preserve the host fiber while having the ability to recycle the elastomers that were removed. The JV is slated to start construction in the 4th
quarter (Q4) of 2022 with full production expected to commence in Q4/2023.
PurFi’s technology requires significantly fewer resources than the production of virgin textiles. When compared with manufacturing virgin polyester, polyamide or cotton, PurFi fiber manufacturing uses up to 96% less water and 90% less energy. The process also generates 85-90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
PurFi’s Proprietary Technology
PurFi fiber maintains the original quality and integrity of the input fabric and can integrate additional properties to make it even better. The fabric is teased apart back into the original yarn, and from the yarn back to the original fiber. This process ensures the length is maintained and any resulting short fibers are filtered out. Source materials never touch unfiltered air or human hands once entering a rejuvenation line and are then penetrated by PurFi’s patented and trade secret technology to achieve a reverse spinning technique. The fibers have the option to be treated with a purification technology prior to being baled into fiber. This technology can embed the rejuvenated fibers with additional characteristics, including hydrophobic, hydrophilic, odor control, fire retardant and others.
Additionally, PurFi can blend fibers together to make customized fabric compositions. All of this is done at the fiber level instead of at the yarn or fabric level, which withstands washings and wear-and-tear much longer. PurFi fibers can be used in meta-aramid and para-aramid textiles as well. Importantly, textiles can be produced with 100% PurFi fibers whereas recycled fibers must be blended with virgin fibers.