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):
- design of the recycling process.
- study of the possibilities of the waste obtained in order to identify the materials that can be used and reprocessed.
- classification and removal of improper items that hinder their recyclability by a socio-labour insertion foundation.
- study of the defibrating conditions in order to obtain a suitable lint for reprocessing.
- 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.