Inventing the Future: Groundbreaking Tech for Clothing Recycling

Recycling clothing has become a top priority due to the fashion industry massive waste and pollution, but basic tasks like removing a shoe sole are now automated.

At last, a company based in the southwest of France called CETIA is providing some mechanical solutions to address the difficulties involved in recycling clothing.

Its research team has created a device that scans clothing using artificial intelligence, recognizes hard components like buttons and zippers, and then cuts them out with a laser.

Additionally, it has created a device that uses a sizable mechanical arm to grasp shoes and yank off the soles. That might seem like a fairly simple piece of technology in a world where vaccines and space travel are commonplace, but it had never been done before.

It was a chicken and egg question. No one was recycling soles because we could not separate them from the shoe, and no one was separating them because there was no recycling, said Chloe Salmon Legagneur, director of CETIA.

In the past, recyclers had to manually remove the sole from the shoes after baking them for several hours to melt the glue.

Currently, in Europe, hardly 1% of textiles are repurposed into clothing. Most become asphalt for paving roads, padding, or insulation for homes.

This is so that any chance of respinning the fibers into new clothes is maintained. Clothes are typically a complicated mixture of elements that need to be properly separated.

Normally completed by hand, CETIA claims that its AI-laser machine can do this considerably more quickly. The machine is continuously improving as technology advances.

Additionally, it contains machines that can sort clothing at a pace of one per second by color and composition.

The reason these inventions are finally emerging is that tough new European rules are imminent that will force clothing companies to use a set amount of recycled fibers in their garments.

CETIA work is backed by big retailers like Decathlon and Zalando who are urgently looking fo Political incentives also exist. If recycling technology enables the French government to handle part of the 200,000 tonnes of textile waste that are presently being transported overseas each year, then new manufacturing jobs may be created.r industrial-scale solutions.

The goal of CETIA is to prepare textiles for reuse. It is now necessary for other businesses to begin melting down the split soles and creating new ones. But it is an important first step.

We not have a recycling sector in France as long as we dont have systems to prepare materials for recycling, stated Veronique Allaire-Spitzer of Refashion, a waste management coordination organization.

It injected 900,000 euros into Cetia with a similar contribution from the regional government.

This is not a magical concept. It is merely basic sense, Legagneur remarked. However, it is about assembling the firms that require these solutions, the engineers, and the funding, and these elements are only now coming together. It was not desired ten years ago.