Revolutionizing Fashion: UK Dye Recycling Startup Receives Prestigious Recognition and Advances Circular Textile Processes

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UK Dye Recycling Startup Recognized by the Fashion Industry as Textile Circularity Demonstrator Launches

DYERECYCLE, a pioneering startup affiliated with Imperial College London, has been granted €200,000 (US$223,415) as part of the H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award. This acknowledgment underscores the transformative potential of DYERECYCLE’s technology in revolutionizing the fashion and textile industry.

In tandem with this recognition, the UK Fashion and Textile Association has unveiled a collaborative national project aimed at enhancing circularity in fashion. This initiative focuses on automating sorting and pre-processing of waste textiles, a crucial step towards fostering their reuse.

A Breakthrough in Circular Dye Processing

DYEERECYCLE’s approach marks a potential paradigm shift in fabric dyeing. Conventional methods pose environmental risks due to water usage and the release of toxic dye chemicals. DYERECYCLE’s innovative technology eliminates water usage, reducing the risk of pollution, and establishes a circular dye process. The use of ionic liquids effectively removes dyes from waste textiles, creating a color bath of recovered dye for treating new fabrics. This breakthrough process ensures color matching through a meticulous selection of waste fabrics rather than a specific formulation.

Strategic Development Plans

Presently operating at bench-scale in Imperial’s chemical engineering department, DYERECYCLE aims to secure seed funding soon. This will enable the company to conduct extensive product-market fit and pilot tests with diverse supply chain partners, transitioning from dyeing small fabric lengths to entire rolls suitable for garment production. The company anticipates launching pilot projects with different brands, showcasing the potential of its technology in recycling textile waste.

The Nobel Prize of Fashion Recognizes Innovation

The H&M Foundation’s Global Change Awards, often dubbed the “Nobel Prize of fashion,” were initiated to accelerate the shift to a circular model in the fashion industry. DYERECYCLE’s recognition reflects the industry’s increasing focus on both fiber and chemical circularity. Award recipients gain substantial support through a €200,000 grant and yearlong access to the GCA Impact Accelerator, facilitating their journey from idea to scale.

Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future

In another significant development, the £4 million ACT UK collaborative project has been announced. This project will pilot a fully integrated, automated sorting and pre-processing demonstrator for waste textiles, potentially diverting thousands of tonnes of waste from landfills annually. The project addresses the limitations of manual sorting, leveraging state-of-the-art technology to optimize textile recycling processes and contribute to a more sustainable fashion future.

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