Everyone has heard about the plastic waste ruining our planet by now. But who knows about the 13.1 million tons of textile waste (worth roughly USD 350 billion) the United States alone produce every year? And who knows that 11 million of that textile waste goes almost directly to landfills? What’s more, it takes about 700 gallons of water (that’s 2650 liters) to make one T-shirt.
It’s fair to say there is a relatively sizeable problem here, a problem that social-entrepreneurs around the world are trying to solve through clothing recycling technologies. One of these companies is EVRNU, a US based organization founded by Stacy Flynn and Christopher Stanev in 2014.
EVRNU’s patent pending technology “purifies cotton garment waste, converts it to a pulp, and extrudes it as a pristine new fiber for the creation of premium textiles.” The pulp is pushed through something that closely resembles a showerhead, the number and shape of the holes through which the pulp is pushed determines what the fiber will ultimately look and feel like. In layman’s terms, this means that by “simply” changing the type of showerhead, EVRNU can create almost any fiber.
The result? A fabric that is finer than silk and stronger than cotton.
In a world where we dutifully follow new fashion styles introduced every three months and where we often link our social status to our evolving wardrobe, garment recycling should play a much larger role than it currently does. Especially when you realize that global sales of clothing account for USD 1 trillion a year, a number set to double in the next ten years. EVRNU’s technology has the potential to offer a sustainable solution to a huge worldwide problem.
EVRNU is the first invention of it’s kind to be commercialized in the US – a month ago they send out a press release announcing their cooperation with Levi Strauss & Co in creating the first jean – the iconic Levi’s® 511® – from regenerated post-consumer cotton waste.
“This first prototype represents a major advancement in apparel innovation. We have the potential to reduce by 98 percent the water that would otherwise be needed to grow virgin cotton while giving multiple lives to each garment,” said Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co. “Although early days, this technology holds great promise and is an exciting advancement as we explore the use of regenerated cotton to help significantly reduce our overall impact on the planet.”
Levi Strauss & Co was the first apparel company to partner with EVRNU and EVRNU hopes their new collaboration will open up the doors to other fashion houses as well.
In 2015 Flynn applied to the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge competition and has been a proud finalist of the 2015 edition ever since.
Source: The Optimist