Recycling fund tackles textile waste

textile waste

Prevention of textile waste is a focus of the latest round of recipients for the Victorian State Government’s $2.9 million Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund.

Five successful recipients will share in $630,000 in grants to help develop new uses for recycled material, with a view to avoid more than 660 tonnes of waste a year.

The fund is designed to support collaborative projects between businesses, industry groups and associations, and charities and research institutions.

Outdoor clothing manufacturer Kathmandu has received $150,000 to demonstrate the viability of a system for the recovery, repair and renewal of damaged or unwanted clothing. The project will use a propriety process developed by US-based textile recycling company The Renewal Workshop, which is currently practised in the United States and the European Union.

Local fashion label A.BCH will use $85,000 to help build a digital platform to connect excess textile materials with demand from businesses and consumers via an online marketplace.

The University of Melbourne will use $100,000 to explore a novel solution to extend the usability of disposable medical gowns. The project will evaluate and demonstrate whether a coating can be applied to the gowns to allow safe reuse in clinical settings.

Deakin University has received $149,650 for the research and development of a new textile as a viable polyester alternative, based on the nest fibres of a native Australian solitary bee.

Outside of textiles, Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions (CLOS) has received $150,000 to demonstrate the time, cost, and waste-saving possibilities of off-site prefabrication in the construction industry.

Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, said such projects would not only save on waste, but would positively impact the state’s construction and manufacturing industries going forward.

“By accelerating businesses take-up of circular economy opportunities, we’re creating jobs and cutting costs to Victorians – and keeping our communities and the environment flourishing by reducing waste,” she said.

Previous rounds of the fund focused on identifying opportunities for circular economy business models in the food sector. Recipients included Mantzaris Fisheries, who are optimising a green manufacturing process for recycling seafood waste into nutritional products, and Peakstone Global, who are piloting a process for recycling spent brewers’ grain into specialty food products.

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