Recycling of Mixed Fibers
Turning the linear supply chain of textile and clothing industry into a closed loop system means turning textile waste into usable resources through such practices as recycling. However, to facilitate recycling on a large scale, the fibers should ideally not be mixed since the separation of fiber mixtures in the recycling process is very expensive and challenging. Recycling blended textiles into new fabrics to create clothing is a difficulty that companies readily face while trying to scale up their fiber-to-fiber recycling operation.
Some mixed fiber blends are particularly problematic, such as those containing spandex or elastane. For example, used jeans or denim containing a mixture of cotton, spandex or elastane are used in an open system route of recycling to produce industrial materials, such as insulation or mattress padding. While the amount of blended textiles being actively recycled is on the rise, industry players continue to search for more sustainable ways to recycle these mixed fiber textiles.
For more information, please refer to the following websites: Why is it Difficult to Recycle Your Clothes (onlineclothingstudy.com); ReMix_Report.pdf (mistrafuturefashion.com)