How to use technology in order to minimize waste in the textile industry? These days everyone is looking for solutions to reduce water consumption, prevent microplastics from entering oceans, and prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Project ReCLO is an Industry 4.0 greentech startup from Croatia aiming to optimize, meaning – to reduce, the percentage of discarded and waste textiles in the textile industry by increasing the rate of exchange of secondary raw material surpluses and/or leftovers between all the supply chain stakeholders – producers/ factories/ brands/ waste handlers, recycling facilities and individuals. The project has one goal, which is to open up the market of pre-, and postproduction waste and leftover materials to the public for collaboration, matchmaking, and environmental auditing, all in order for customers to engage more with slow-fashion, and for brands to raise their green transition awareness, in a way of fostering the customer’s input. Established, the protocol results in cheaper and more traceable products for society, better alignment with the EU Green Deal initiative for the manufacturing facilities, more responsible and efficient production, and of course a decreased carbon, plastic, and water-usage footprint for the entire planet.
Interesting is the technology behind all. It is not complicated to replicate and is present on the market. Applicability has already been proven by the interest from the industry partners to take part in the project, and can easily be adopted by new organizations because of the software’s entrepreneurial and co-creative business model of users creating their own content on the platform. Financially, it is sustainable since it saves the in-house margin of textile companies from having to spend resources on discarding the material. It also brings the innovation of switching the supply-and-demand roles between different stakeholders. The project is scalable because of the open-source technology behind it and its mindfulness about open-data manufacturing.
To tackle the issue of textile waste in the fashion industry by providing a digital platform that facilitates the recycling and upcycling of textile waste is what they are aiming for. ReCLO works with fashion brands, retailers, and textile manufacturers to optimize their supply chains and reduce waste. Their platform enables the tracking and tracing of textile waste, facilitating its redirection to recycling or upcycling processes instead of ending up in landfills. Founders have collaborated with many partners Industry partners from Croatia include Adidas, Naftalina, Prostoria, Kotka, and Varteks. Collaboration with the City’s municipal waste department and the University of Zagreb has also informally been established. Some of the local fashion designers include Kramah, TinaVR, Broth, and Kookabee. The team had collaborated with four of Croatia’s biggest textile companies to repurpose their textile waste materials, and interest is on the rise. The project gained a lot of recognition and received many awards in the past two years.