STAND Up!: Antonia Lopez, winner of the eco-innovative challenge solving the reuse of the cotton waste in Spain


Launched through The Switchers Open Eco-Innovation platform by TEXIA – the Spanish textile company dedicated to the design, patterns, and production of women’s clothing- the open innovation challenge focusing on the “Reuse of the cotton wastes from the pre-treated selvedges” found its optimal solution in the proposal of a triple-impact philosophy: economic value, social perspectives and environmental impact.

Antonia Lopez, female garment-maker with more than 30 years of experience working for different kind of T&C sectors, also including automotive industry, has designed a model focused on knowledge of technologies and systems for the revaluation of post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste.

The reintroduction of a waste that currently has no market benefits into the textile value chain represents a significant environmental innovation. Currently, products with recycled fabrics are increasingly in demand by consumers, which gives a high market value to products made from pre-consumer cotton textile waste.

The proposed solution structures in defined steps the analysis of waste to be treated in the pilot test, derived from non-marketable products (with defects, tears or damage):

  1. design of the recycling process.
  2. study of the possibilities of the waste obtained in order to identify the materials that can be used and reprocessed.
  3. classification and removal of improper items that hinder their recyclability by a socio-labour insertion foundation.
  4. study of the defibrating conditions in order to obtain a suitable lint for reprocessing.
  5. investigation of reprocessing conditions and methodologies to be used along the value chain: spinning and weaving. ensuring traceability throughout the entire process.

The creation of a waste reprocessing methodology will allow the waste to cease to be problematic for the generating entity in the short/long term, becoming a by-product of the production process and being able to be reintroduced back into the business value chain.

Within the STAND Up! eco-innovation voucher scheme, the entrepreneur will be awarded with a voucher set worth 20,000€, to implement studies and analysis procedures and services and necessary to achieve the planned methodology and business model.