Garment to Garment Recycling System

There is an annual production of over 100,000 tons textiles waste in Hong Kong and the figure is equivalent to the disposal of over 1,000 pieces of T-shirt per minutes. Garment-to-Garment Recycle System is an advanced, automatic and fully functional mini-scale production line, which is able to recycle post-consumer garment into a sanitized recycled garment, will be developed. The system will allow further exploration of business and educational model for circular economy of textile recycling. The objective of the project is to provide a recycle solution for local garment recycling and to solve the associated technical challenges of packaging all the machines and system into a compact space.

Application

It involves eight steps:

1) Sanitization - First, used garments are sanitized in an ozone chamber to remove microorganisms on the clothes.
2) Opening - The used garments are then shredded into their constituent yarns and fibre particles in a fibre opening machine.
3) Cleaning - Next, the shredded material is divided into clumps of fibre and impurities attached to the clumps are removed in a cleaning machine.
4) Carding - The clumps are then carded and aligned in the same orientation, and so become fibre web.
5) Drawing - The next step involves the fibre web being formed into slivers and a number of slivers being drawn together to form straightened units with improved evenness.
6) Rotor Spinning - A number of these drawn slivers are fed into a high-speed rotor and spun into single yarn.
7) Doubling & Twisting - Two single yarns are then combined and this double yarn is fed into a twister machine, which converts the yarn into ply yarn to enhance strength and balance torque.
8) Knitting - Finally, either new garments are made using a whole garment knitting machine, or knitted fabrics are produced by a flatbed knitting machine.

Technological Breakthrough

The system design is compact and easily installed. The entire process takes place in a standard 40-foot container. With its anti-vibration, noise- and dust-controlled design, the production line minimizes noise and disruption to nearby businesses, and so is configured for operational compatibility within community spaces such as shopping malls. The process is waterless, which adds significantly to the system’s environmentally friendly properties.

These features mean that the system blueprint can be readily adopted by interested parties globally such as fashion brands or retailers.

Awards
Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 - Red Dot Award 2019 Winner
47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2019) - Gold Medal
2019 Asia International Innovative Invention Award - Gold Award
2019 Innovation by Design Awards - Finalist - Retail Environment
2021 Good Design Award (G Mark) - Best 100
2020 Hong Kong Green Innovations Awards - Gold Award
Good Design Awards 2021 (Retail Fitting)
Project Name (ITF)
Development of a Garment-to-Garment Recycle System
Project Number (ITF)
ITP/082/17TP