Based on the ambitious European Waste law, all EU Member States must separately collect the textile waste in 2,5 years. While some countries are designing schemes to face the waste collection challenge, currently no large-scale plan exist to process the waste. The largest source of textile waste (85%) comes from private households and approximately 99% of the textile waste was made using virgin fibers.
A fiber-to-fiber recycling rate of around 18-26 % by 2030 should be reached, a capital expenditure investment in the range of € 6-7 billion will be needed, particularly to scale up sufficient sorting and processing infrastructure. The economic, social, and environmental value which could be realized, potentially total an annual impact of € 3.5-4.5 billion by 2030.
Once matured and scaled, the textile recycling industry could become a profitable industry with a total market size of € 6-8 billion € and around 15,000 direct new jobs by 2030.
Facing the European textile waste challenge and to finally activate circular economy in the textile sector at large scale, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, in collaboration with its members launched the ReHubs initiative in 2020.
In June 2022 the first ReHubs Techno Economic Master Study (TES) has been completed and shades lights on key figures, options to collaborate for European-wide solution.
The 1st project addresses current sorting technologies which have limits to identify materials with sufficient accuracy for the subsequent circular recycling processes. The “Transform Waste into Feedstock” project will focus on further developing and scaling such sorting technologies. The project group led by Texaid AG aims on building up a first 50,000 tons facility by the end 2024.
The ReHubs initiative brings together key European and world players to solve the European textile waste problem by transforming “waste” into a resource, and to boost textile circular business model at large scale.
This collaboration is set to turn the societal textile waste issue into a business opportunity and to fulfil the EU ambitions of the Green Deal, of the mandatory textile waste collection by end 2024 and the transition into Circular Economy.
In 2020 Euratex launched the ReHubs initiative to promote collaboration across the extended textile value chain and considering all perspectives on chemicals, fibers making, textiles making, garments production, retail and distribution, textiles waste collection, sorting and recycling.
Companies which have engaged in the ReHubs initiative and supported the TES study include:
In June 2022 ReHubs completes a Techno Economic master Study (TES) which researches critical information on the feedstock (textile waste) data, on technology, organizational and financial needs to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030 and to effectively launch the ReHubs.