Novetex Textiles has opened The Billie System, its new Tai Po textile mill, the first in Hong Kong in over half a century. A key component of this mill is a waterless system which upcycles textile waste.
The system is almost entirely automated, and able to process up to three tonnes of recycled fibre per day, which according to Novetex can be further blended with virgin material to produce yarn for various products and garments.
The system has been developed over two years and received an initial investment of HK$15 million. It does not consume water, emit wastewater or consume chemical waste, unlike most recycling processes. It has been developed in collaboration with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel as its R&D partner.
Post-consumers and/or post-industrial textile waste will be sourced from retail partners or NGOs, with a trio of production lines at the facility sanitising, sorting and processing the discarded textiles into silvers, before being spun into yarn as part of a highly automated production process.
The Tai Po facility is able to process up to three tonnes of fibres a day. Hong Kong is said to produce over 340 tonnes of textile waste daily. Novetex will seek to scale up operations if this venture proves successful, potentially along with other companies who see an opportunity in this area.
“The launch of The Billie System is just the next step in a series of innovations that have come before,” said Ronna Chao, chairman of Novetex. She added: “Sustainability is not a trend but a necessity, and by providing an efficient practice for companies and brands, we are tackling not just a local problem but a global one.”
Last year, Ecotextile News reported on the planned opening of the Tai Po facility, and how it signalled a drive to divert some of the territory’s mounting textile waste from landfill and simultaneously bring industry back to the region.
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