Constructing a Closed-loop System to Realize the Textile Circular Economy

Jason Chen, Chairman, SINGTEX Group

Global warming has escalated into a worldwide crisis, with climate emergency looming large. In recent years, the "fast fashion" trend has led to a substantial amount of textile waste. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation pointed out that 85% of it is buried or incinerated, causing significant environmental impact. The environmental crisis caused by fast fashion has made clothing recycling a paramount issue.

Taiwan’s Innovative Textile Technology

Taiwan's textile industry is facing a period of transformation. The EU previously announced modifications to waste regulations by 2024, including the inclusion of textile waste. In the future, this will include prioritizing fiber-to-fiber recycling and setting mandatory targets for textile reuse and recycling. Singtex Group has innovated in textile development, establishing a closed-loop recycling system to reduce environmental pollution. This is a crucial step toward achieving the goals. However, these endeavors face numerous challenges, which are further analyzed in the following execution strategy.

SINGTEX takes marathon events as the start for industrial sustainability actions

REFIT textiles sustainable circulation program
REFIT™ is the latest textile sustainable circulation program from SINGTEX where 100% polyester single-material clothes are decomposed, reassembled, and reproduced into brand-new clothes. Persisting on the concept that recycling is not accepting “garbage,” but rather receiving “resources,” REFIT™ hopes to implement the “Textile to Textile Sustainable Circulation Program,” to incorporate the eco-friendly principle into the source of product design, to wear the determination of protecting the Earth on the body!

REFIT Smart Clothes Recycling Box
REFIT™ Smart Clothes Recycling Box was jointly developed by SINGTEX and TDRI, Through smart technologies, this recycling box is capable of identifying the materials of the textiles, solving the issue where mixed materials are difficult to recycle for reproduction, thereby enhancing the efficiency and feasibility of old clothes recycling. Moreover, the materials used to produce the recycling box were further recycled from old clothes and discarded materials from the clothes manufacturing process.

REFIT™ Response activity
According to Runners' Plaza statistics, Taiwan holds about 300 marathon events every year, resulting in a huge number of running clothes. Burning old clothes harms the environment, and garment recycling technology has become a challenge for the textile industry. SINGTEX is a supplier of domestic sports events, providing 100% Polyester running clothes to athletes. When athletes no longer wear those running clothes, the old clothes will be given new life through the REFIT™ program.

REFIT™ was launched at the Tianzhong Marathon in 2022 and has participated in the 2022 WJS Marathon, 2023 Tianzhong Marathon, TITAS, Taiwan Design Expo, Tokyo Taiwan Image Exhibition, IAU Ultramarathon, Taoyuan Half Marathon, and Taipei Marathon Expo …, more than a thousand people responded.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Used clothes recycled through the REFIT project are divided into: charity donation, repair and redesign, depolymerization and remanufacturing, and turning waste into energy.

Charity donation: Donate to social welfare organizations across Taiwan. Repair and redesign: Repair and redesign old clothes to create new value. Depolymerization and remanufacturing: 100% polyester single-material clothes will be decomposed, reassembled, and reproduced into brand-new clothes. Turning waste into energy: Unusable old clothes are made into fuel rods to replace traditional thermal power generation.

In addition, SINGTEX held a second-hand clothes exchange market. Let one person's old clothes become another person's new clothes. Establish a corporate culture of "reuse before recycling".

Do the right thing from the beginning

The garment recycling process faces the difficulties of decolorization, energy consumption and high cost. The recycling conditions require clothes to be made of a single material from fabrics, collar labels, wash labels, buttons, sewing threads...

SINGTEX hopes to promote the " REFIT™ textiles sustainable circulation program ", taking " Do the right thing from the beginning " as the development direction, and bringing the concept of a single material to brands, suppliers, and consumers. Work together to create an ideal country for textiles. For example, our SINGTEX® ONE series fabrics are all made of a single material, which can be recycled and regenerated.

As a leading manufacturer of all-round energy-saving and environmentally-friendly functional textiles, Singtex not only excels in execution but also hosts clients from around the world: Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, and more. This year, the focus is on the clothing recycling market, harnessing the power of AI technology to sort and collect 100% polyester fiber single-material clothing for disassembly, reassembly, and production of entirely new clothes. Apart from extending the lifecycle of garments, we aim to achieve sustainable use of Earth's resources through changes in production efficiency and consumption patterns, catering to customers' demands for sustainable and eco-friendly products.

For me, running a textile business is a sustainable business that warms the heart and loves the Earth! Not only does Singtex play the role of a manufacturer and producer, but we are also an advocate and educator of environmental sustainability. We envision the group's future to dominate in four major textile fields - outdoor, sports, medical, and military, attaining a world-class leadership position.

The sustainable cycle of textiles

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Your data will only be used by SINGTEX®.
Consult our Privacy Policy for further information.
Your data will only be used by SINGTEX®
Consult our Privacy Policy for further information.
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