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China’s first closed-loop recycling of uniforms

China – The Teijin Group has launched the first programme in China for collecting and recycling used uniforms, relying on its Eco Circle system. This incorporates what is claimed to be the world’s first technology for the chemical recycling of polyester, which Teijin Fibers introduced in 2002.

As part of the programme, Teijin Fibers’ chemically recyclable polyester fibre is woven into textiles and subsequently dyed by Nantong Teijin Co., Ltd, a Teijin Group company. After being collected, the textiles are sent to Teijin Fibers’ Matsuyama plant in Japan where they undergo a chemical decomposition and are converted into polyester raw material, offering purity comparable to polyester derived directly from petroleum.

To attain this closed loop, Teijin is working with more than 150 apparel and sportswear manufacturers worldwide, including well-known brands like Patagonia Inc. in the USA, Henri Lloyd in the UK, Quiksilver Europe in France, and China’s Li Ning.

Hirotaka Nakagawa, President of Nantong Teijin, says: ‘With environmental consciousness steadily rising in China, Teijin is witnessing a growing interest in its Eco Circle programme. We will continue to pursue and expand our environmental initiatives in this fast-growing market.’

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