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Singapore manufacturer targets textiles-to-textiles innovation

Singapore-based manufacturing group Royal Golden Eagle is looking to accelerate innovation in textile recycling with the help of Nanyang Technical University. The partners have launched a Sustainable Textile Research Centre to target solutions in densely populated areas.

Researchers working at the US$ 6 million (EUR 4.2 million) department claim to have discovered a closed-loop textile-to-textile recycling solution. This is based on a five-year R&D project in which they were exploring next-generation, eco-friendly and sustainable textiles.

The aim of the investment is to study the chemistry of various textiles and determine the optimal processes and techniques required to achieve a circular textile economy. This work is in line with Singapore’s Zero Waste vision and the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

The research centre, at Nanyang Technical University’s School of Materials Science & Engineering, was officially launched by Grace Fu, Singapore’s minister for sustainability and the environment, in August.

Royal Golden Eagle is one of the biggest producers of viscose, employing more than 60 000 people across Indonesia, China, Brazil, Spain and Canada. The partners will conduct experiments at a pilot textile recycling plant in Singapore which is scheduled to begin operations by 2024. If successful, the producer plans to build a network of recycling plants in other cities.

‘Current textile recycling technologies, which rely primarily on a bleaching and separation process using heavy chemicals, cannot be implemented due to environmental laws,’ says company executive director Perry Lim. ‘At the same time, there is an urgent need to keep textiles out of the brimming landfills.’

He adds: ‘We aim to catalyse closed-loop, textile-to-textile recycling by developing optimal urban-fit solutions that can bring the world closer to a circular textile economy.’

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