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WORTH Partnership Project

Rethinking Textile Waste

Transforming industrial waste  into new high-quality products

Rethinking Textile Waste

The message of the project

Rethinking Textile Waste promotes transparency and circularity throughout the whole value chain. In terms of business and operations, the project fosters collaboration among local waste management, textile recycling facilities, and producers. All parties are working together to reduce the amount of textile waste that ends up in landfills. Continuous recovery and reuse of remaining textile fibres without disposal results in long-term sustainability. In terms of end-users, biocomposite aesthetics highlight and celebrate clothing's previous lives by displaying hints of their original clothier and structural features.

Rethinking Textile Waste

The idea behind the project

Natural materials design and research studio Studio Sarmite is located in Germany. It focuses on transforming industrial waste and leftovers into new high-quality resources that can be reintroduced into the market. The designer believes that the term "waste" should be viewed as a surplus rather than a negative, and thus could be used to create something new.

RTU (Riga Technical University) does research in the subject of Materials Science and Chemical Technology, specifically in the subfield of Polymers and Composites. The University has expertise and research infrastructure for the development and characterisation of polymer composite materials, including a diverse range of synthetic and natural fillers in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Mixed fibre Post-consumer textile waste has few recycling options since it is difficult and expensive to separate distinct fibres, and the production of new yarn is impossible without the addition of virgin fibres. They also carry a significant stigma associated with their prior life and appearance. Studio Sarmite collaborated with RTU to create a circular, gorgeous, high-quality bio-composite that may offer these substandard fibres a second chance. The new bio-composite will be useful for both fashion and product design applications.

Rethinking Textile Waste

What next?

Both partners want to build a long-term relationship for the continuous development of bio-composite versions. In terms of the product, Sarmite will initially execute a few test collaborations with designers and architects, and then scale them by using the existing textile recycling infrastructure.

Rethinking Textile Waste



Studio Sarmite


Riga Technical University [RTU]