Resortecs’ position on the Waste Framework Directive revision
Resortecs policy asks Waste Framework Directive revision
1. Swift introduction of mandatory and harmonised Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for textile products across the EU to introduce their separate collection.
2. Extended Producer Responsibility fees should be eco-modulated to incentivise producers to ecodesign their products. Design for disassembly must be included as a criterion.
3. Include a 2030 target for textiles-textiles recycling target as well as a fibre-to-fibre sub-target (for when the former is no longer an option to avoid premature downcycling). These targets should increase over time.
4. To deliver the waste hierarchy principles in practice, recognition and support of so-called pre-recycling techniques that are preconditions to effective circularity operations, such as sorting and disassembly, should be developed and integrated into the modernised Waste Framework Directive.
Action to make circular economy the norm is urgent. The Circularity Gap Report 2023 demonstrates that the world’s circularity has declined from 9.1% to 7.2% over the past five years, whilst total material extraction has almost doubled since 2000, reaching 100 billion tonnes today. As recognised by the EU Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU Industrial Strategy, and the Textiles Ecosystem Transition Pathway, the textiles sector is key to the green transition as it is the fourth most resource intense industry, it accounts for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and less than 1% of all textiles waste collected enters into a circular loop.
Resortecs supports the European Commission’s 2030 vision for a competitive, resilient, and innovative textiles sector laid out in the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, particularly that all textile products placed on the EU market are eco-designed, sustainable and with producers taking responsibility for their products along the value chain with sufficient capacities for recycling and ending incineration and landfilling.
To achieve this ambitious vision, Europe must unlock industrial-scale circularity for textiles. Design for disassembly is key to unleash the full potential of textile-to-textile reuse, repair, and recycling. Even with an ideal circularity infrastructure, most textile products on the market would remain too complex or expensive to repair or recycle once they become waste because they are not designed for disassembly and, therefore, circularity. Once collected, most cannot be processed without a pre-recycling step such as disassembly. This is a key end-of-life-problem for the industry. For example, over 78% of all textile products are multi-material and the presence of zippers and trims like elastic bands hinder recycling. This results in material loss as most textile waste goes to incineration or landfill, and most new textiles products manufactured from scratch.
Disassembly is still a manual and costly process. To address this, Resortecs’ active disassembly innovations – a range of heat-dissolvable threads (‘Smart Stitch™’) and thermal disassembly system (‘Smart Disassembly™’) – helps to replace textiles designed for waste with textiles eco-designed for disassembly, thereby enabling material recovery for reuse, repair, upcycling, and high-quality recycling as well as waste prevention. Active Disassembly represents the pinnacle of Design for Disassembly methodologies (other pre-recycling available today include mechanical disassembly and manual disassembly). By incorporating releasable fasteners in a product’s design and assembly – such as Resortecs’ SmartStitch™ – active disassembly delivers an automatic, non-destructive, and economic industrial disassembly process that segregates components and materials of a product at its end-of-life.
A major benefit of Resortecs is that it acts as a drop-in solution to the textiles value chain as no significant infrastructure or manufacturing changes are needed in the value-chain for implementation of this technology. It also delivers circularity without compromising the creativity, design, and quality of clothing.
Click here or on the image below to download the full position paper.
Resortecs’ feedback on the call for evidence on Textiles Labelling Regulation revision
Resortecs welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to revise the Textiles Labelling Regulation. In addition to delivering on the targets set in the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles and the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, this revision is an opportunity to:
(1) Integrate information and labelling requirements on disassembly, alongside those that will be set under the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) delegated act on textiles and for the EU digital product passport (DPP).
(2) Boost the sector’s circularity by building a standardised information infrastructure that encompasses cradle-to-cradle, expanding from today’s cradle-to-gate/grave information infrastructure.
Today, the textiles industry heavily relies on a linear model and does not design products for circularity. Only 1% of all garments are effectively recycled. A main barrier is the complexity of disassembling garments. To recycle a garment, it first needs to be disassembled – currently this is still a manual, labour-intensive, and costly process. This means that without efficient disassembly at scale, there will never be a truly circular textiles ecosystem.
Resortecs’s active disassembly innovation provides the solution to make recycling easy. Resortecs’ system of heat-dissolvable threads and thermal disassembly is five times faster than traditional disassembly and makes it possible to recycle up to 90% of a textile product’s fabric content. It is also a drop-in solution to existing industrial processes.
To make smart disassembly the norm, Resortecs urges the European Commission to:
1. Set information and labelling requirements covering disassembly, ensuring consistency with the ESPR and the DPP.
2. Build a standardised information infrastructure that expands from today’s cradle-to-gate/grave to cradle-to-cradle, including information on disassembly. Making this information available is essential to enable value-retention operations such as disassembly and high-quality recycling and to recognise product materials and components that enable ecodesign, such as Resortecs innovative threads for textiles. An ecodesigned product will only fulfil its circularity potential if the information needed – including crucial information on how it can be efficiently disassembled – is readily available and accessible to the right actor. Such a standardised information infrastructure is not available today, meaning that consumers, sorters, recyclers, and manufacturers lack crucial information throughout, from making informative purchasing decisions to processing a garment once it reaches its end of life. A garment’s physical label should contain simple, harmonised, and comparable visual symbols reflecting its key circularity characteristics. A garment’s readiness for disassembly should be included to guarantee adequate sorting, processing, and waste prevention, as well as a garment’s recycled and recyclable content. This information should also appear in a textiles product’s DPP and provide the detailed information substantiating the physical label.
3. An ambitious Textiles Labelling Regulation that goes beyond its current strict focus on fiber identification is crucial to spur circular innovation and foster the development of novel fibers. It should grant recognition to emerging innovative novel fibers and set a regulatory framework that allows them to scale.
On 7 September 2023, Creamoda, EURATEX, Fedustria, and Resortecs welcomed 150 changemakers from 20 countries in Brussels to discuss the future of the fashion and textile industries.
Resortecs unveiled its latest report, “From Waste to Profit”– A Comparative Cost Analysis of Textile Disassembly Processes, available for download here, and highlighted the financial and operational benefits of Active Disassembly compared to the status quo disassembly methods – manual and mechanical.
Dirk Vantyghem from Euratex gave an insightful update on the EU Textile Strategy launched last year with the aim to create a greener, more competitive textile sector. Textile products placed on the EU market need to be therefore more durable, repairable, recyclable, and to a great extent made of recycled fibers.
Textile recycling was highlighted as one of the solutions to drive change at scale and grow with environmental compliance, but getting there without losing the essential industrial competitiveness is of key importance for the sector.
The panel discussions with Fedustria and industry leaders Concordia Textiles, Sioen, and BekaertDeslee – moderated by Christine Goulay from Sustainabelle, resulted in a number of interesting insights and testimonials on the efficiency and applicability of Active Disassembly for the textile sector.
Carl Baekelandt, Demet Tunc, Ivan Deceuninck, and Karla Basselier shared their expertise as circularity pioneers. Here are three takeaways from the insightful discussions:
1. There are now 16 legal changes focusing on the sustainability and circularity of fashion and textile companies rolling out across the EU — and more will follow.
2. 78% of all textile products require disassembly before textile-to-textile recycling.
3. Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on recycling textile waste due to 1) the shortage of raw materials and 2) the prohibition of recycled R-PET from the packaging industry for use in other sectors.
In addition, all guests also had the chance to explore Circularium and witness a live demo of Smart Stitch™ & Smart Disassembly™.
The need of collaboration to unlock industrial-scale recycling in Europe was eminent at the networking dinner & drinks at the end of the event. The connections made are testament to the commitment of all stakeholders along the textile value chain to make circularity a reality.
Have you already downloaded your free copy of the report ‘From Waste to Profit’ — A Comparative Cost Analysis of Disassembly Processes? Download it here.
• The best-performing disassembly method for achieving maximum financial and operational efficiency.
• How different disassembly methods compare across four textile product categories: multilayer outdoor jackets, cotton trousers, aramid-based workwear, and mattress covers.
• How fashion and textile brands can transform product recycling into a source of ROI rather than costs at the end of a product’s lifecycle.
• What policymakers and brands should do to keep the European textile and fashion industries competitive.
Resortecs has partnered with BekaertDeslee, a global leader in the production of mattress textiles, covers, and modern sleep solutions. Together, both companies are taking Design for Disassembly beyond fashion to offer a groundbreaking solution for mattress cover recycling – reducing waste and increasing the recyclability of one of the most complex textiles products.
Currently, less than 1% of all textiles are effectively recycled. The remaining 99% end up landfilled or incinerated. The challenge of disassembling and sorting multi-material textile products is largely behind these staggering figures. In the case of mattresses, the textile cover is especially difficult to recycle due to its mixed materials and several components.
To tackle that, Resortecs and BeekaertDeslee have developed a unique and cost-efficient solution to make mattress covers that are made for being unmade. With the ultimate goal of easily dismantling, sorting, and recycling as much fabric as possible, BekaertDeslee will allow its clients to make mattresses using Resortecs’ Smart Stitch™ heat-dissolvable threads. The two companies have been working together since 2022 to create the first multi-material covers designed for industrial-scale disassembly and recycling.
At the end of the cover’s life, mattress brands will be able to use Resortecs’ low-emission Smart Disassembly™ systems for easy pre-recycling disassembly. This will help the industry to avoid polluting end-of-life processes (e.g. incineration), boost its recycling rates, and reduce each product’s carbon footprint.
As a circularity leader, Resortecs sees the partnership with BekaertDeslee as a significant step towards achieving industry-wide textile circularity. The two companies will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions that reduce waste, increase recyclability and promote a greener future for the industry and the planet.
Resortecs is one of the 13 winners of the Make it Circular Challenge!
On May 3, the 13 winners of the Make it Circular Challenge were announced. A total of 650 circular initiatives from over 20 different countries participated in the highly competitive challenge organized by the IKEA Foundation and What Design Can Do.
According to the challenge’s international jury, Smart Stitch™ and Smart Disassembly™ “represent the very best of design innovation and have the potential to make a significant impact in promoting sustainability and circularity.”
The Make it Circular Challenge
The competition was launched last year by WDCD and the IKEA Foundation to identify and support some of the world’s most promising circular innovations and enterprises. From hundreds of entries worldwide, 13 exciting visions for a restorative and regenerative future were selected, from seaweed packaging to waste-based textiles and upcycling marketplaces.
In addition to a €10.000 prize fund, the winners of the Make it Circular Challenge will have access to a six-month-long development program. The program was co-created by experts from the global Impact Hub network, providing the winning teams with the expert mentorship, guidance, and tools they need to grow their businesses and expand their impact on the world. The International Jury, consisting of 11 influential figures in circular design and entrepreneurship, including Bas van Abel (Fairphone), Corinne Gray (Unreasonable Group), Arthur Huang (Miniwiz), and Tamara Streefland (Built By Nature), was responsible for determining which of the 50 nominees had the most potential and would best benefit from this development program.
Selected by Secrid
Resortecs is also one of the three special projects to receive additional press and assistance. Secrid, a carbon neutral wallet producer, has chosen the 3 winning projects as part of their Impact Fund program, pledging to devote 1% of its revenue to bringing together designers and supporting their efforts to create products that enhance the planet’s natural and social equilibrium. By supporting Resortecs, Secrid aims to accelerate the development of the next generation of designers and promote change in our industries.
• Seed investment and EIC grant combined, the startup is tapping into €4.7M to boost production in 2023 and increase tenfold its disassembly capacity in 2024.
• Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, highlighted the importance of funding circular entrepreneurship in a visit to the startup’s warehouse in Brussels.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – 26 April, 2023 – Belgian startup Resortecs has raised €2.2 million in a seed investment round led by Brussels-based ScaleFund and finance&invest.brussels. Founded in 2017, the fashion tech company develops design-for-disassembly technology to make textile recycling fast, easy, and cost-efficient.
makesense_invest, AFI Ventures (the impact arm of Ventech), Trividend, and PDS Limited also joined the funding round, which follows a €2.5 million grant received from the European Innovation Council (EIC) in 2022. In total, Resortecs is tapping into €4.7 million to boost production this year and finalize the development of a continuous disassembly line, scaling up tenfold its pre-recycling processing capacity to 10T/day in 2024.
Currently, less than 1% of fashion’s production is recycled, meaning a yearly loss of materials worth €500 billion and placing the sector in the world’s top 5 polluting industries. Behind these figures is the complexity of sorting recyclable and non-recyclable materials.
With Smart Stitch™ (heat-dissolvable thread) and Smart Disassembly™ (industrial-scale thermal disassembly system), Resortecs enables brands to make textile products designed to be easily sorted and disassembled for recycling. Bershka, Decathlon, and H&M already use Resortecs’ Smart Stitch™ heat-dissolvable threads in products sold in over 60 countries.
“Our goal is to reduce the textile industry’s carbon footprint by 40 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2040. For that, we have to think big and take design for disassembly beyond fashion. Our headcount has doubled in less than 6 months. In just a few weeks, Smart Stitch™ will also be found on the world’s first mattress covers designed for disassembly, made in collaboration with Belgian sleep industry leader BekaertDeslee.” – explains Cédric Vanhoeck, Resortecs’ co-founder and CEO.
The Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, visited the startup’s warehouse in Brussels on 26 April and highlighted the importance of investing in Belgian circular entrepreneurship:
“As Europe does not have many natural resources, we have to make a choice: we can either look at everything we have already produced as waste, or consider it as potential future raw materials to protect the planet. Innovations like this are key to strengthening our industrial competitiveness. Resortecs is a fine example of green growth and Belgian innovation that is ready to take the world!”
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