Reverse Resources – using data to revolutionise textile waste management and recycling

Background Information

With the emerging textile recycling sector, the textile industry grapples with a significant challenge: the mismanagement of textile waste. In Bangladesh, the issue is exacerbated by an emerging textile-to-textile (T2T) recycling sector struggling to gain traction amidst the dominance of informal waste management practices. Garment factories face hurdles in waste segregation, further diminishing the value of recyclable materials. While Pakistan has an established textile recycling industry, challenges persist due to opaque textile flows and reliance on imported post-consumer waste. This lack of transparency hampers efficiency in waste utilization and exacerbates the imbalance between waste supply and demand. Despite nascent recycling markets, the fashion industry’s uptake of recycled materials remains low. Addressing these challenges requires bolstering demand for recycled materials and enhancing waste management practices to mitigate environmental impact and promote sustainable textile recycling.
Reverse Resources (RR) has taken a very unique approach to solve this market gap. The RR team collaborates with large retail brands to create a call to action among their suppliers to start segregating waste at source by fibre composition. Suppliers often get a better price for the waste while doing so. We then enable recyclers to buy textile waste straight from the source (the original supplier). On the SaaS platform, a transparent supply chain gets set up before the actual movement of the waste, which allows recyclers to verify material background information and quality upfront and cut out any unnecessary steps from the chain of custody. The SaaS supports a standardised data-driven process, aligning goals towards circularity, maximising business benefits and allowing to scale of the circular business due to cost-efficiency and real-time market insight.

Through such an approach, RR solution plays a role in overcoming the market barriers in three ways: 

  • Mapping waste from source, matchmaking this with best recyclers and profiling the market players for ease of development of efficient supply chains. 
  • Offering real-time data and statistics of waste flows on the platform, which allows planning and balancing the supply and demand so that the growing recycling capacity would meet the volumes and types of textile waste streams available in the market.
  • Aggregated data and verification of the data accuracy of waste flow allows to set a baseline and drive targets around tracing waste to high-end T2T and build more accurate estimates of total waste sent to landfill or incineration, giving a great tool for public-private partnerships around common goals and shared metrics.

Updates

The project was initiated in March 2024, and inception activities have begun in earnest.

On March 5th and 6th, the team had the opportunity to participate in the 3rd International Conference on Knowledge-based Textiles, which the National Textile University in Pakistan hosted. It was pivotal as the team officially launched the project during the event. The team has noticed a surge of interest from potential participants and partners since this launch. These developments signify a promising start to our project and lay a solid foundation for future progress.

 

Connect with Reverse Resources – using data to revolutionise textile waste management and recycling

Websites

Timeframe

March 2024 – March 2026

Status

Active

Countries of Implementation

Consortium Partners

Showcase Resources

Key media links can be accessed here:

EcoTextile news post.

Sourcing Journal post. 

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