The textiles industry is one of the most environmentally heavy industries in the world. Cotton is a major raw material used in textile production. It is natural and renewable, but due to the large quantities of fertilizers, pesticides and water needed for its cultivation, it is also an extremely resource intensive crop.
The process of converting raw cotton into yarn, fabric and garments requires even more water. Dyestuffs and chemicals deplete and pollute the limited fresh water reserves available on our planet, and are a major contributor to CO2 emissions.
Bangladesh is the second largest apparel producer in the world and the number one producer of cotton T-shirts. This also results in tons of cotton textile scraps as a bi-product every day. These scraps, known as jooth in Bangladesh, are traditionally burned, discarded, exported or down-cycled into low quality fabrics, insulation and padding materials.
WATER LITRES SAVED ON EVERY T-SHIRT
ENERGY USED VIA CO-GENERATION
SUSTAINABLE RAW MATERIALS
TURNING WASTE FABRIC BACK INTO FIBRE
The Vision on Sustainability
At ROSHAWA we partnered with Global Recycling Standard (GRS) with the mission to reclaim this textile waste, and turn it into new fibers and yarns. We wanted to play our part in creating a more sustainable garment industry by reducing textile waste and avoiding it from ending up in landfills.
We aim to provide an alternative, more sustainable source of raw material for the textile industry. We aim to do this locally, to avoid using resources and emitting CO2 in the transportation of the jooth, and mechanically, to avoid having to use any water, dyes or chemicals in the process.
This way we could significantly reduce the environmental impact of the yarn production. We aim to close the loop on this booming industry by re-using the textile waste from the garment factories, recycling it into new yarns, and returning it to those same garment factories again, so that they in turn can use it to produce new fabrics and garments for their customers.
THE RECYCLING PROCESS
We use the cutting waste from garment manufacturers in Bangladesh, called jooth in Bengali, as our raw material. We source the jooth from manufacturers a small group of dedicated traders that we have partnered with. Since we do not dye our fibers or yarns, the color of the jooth determines the color of the yarn.
Our dedicated procurement team works closely with our network of manufacturers and traders to source the shades that our customers are looking for. If an exact match is not available, we blend different shades together later in the process.
The sourced jooth is delivered to our factory premises, where it is manually sorted for color once again.
At the same time it is checked for quality and any contaminants that may be there are removed.
The sorted jooth is then processed in the recycling machine, where the fabrics are mechanically opened and the yarns are shredded into recycled cotton fiber.
We focus on keeping the fibre length as long as possible, for the finest yarn quality.
The fiber is pressed into bales and transferred to the blending section.
The recycling process shortens the cotton fiber, so we blend it with another fiber to ensure sufficient strength and quality. We use a variation of blending fibers, such as recycled polyester, viscose, acrylic or Tencel™, depending on customer preference.
The final composition depends on the yarn: the coarser the yarn, the higher the percentage of recycled cotton. All our yarns are at least 50% recycled cotton. During this blending process we also blend for color, combining different shades of fiber to match the required shade as closely as possible.
The blended fibers are spun into yarn using a specialised spinning process.
First the fibers are loosened in the blow room, the fiber is carded to remove naps, impurities and fibers that are too short to be processed into finer yarns (not to worry - this waste is recycled again and used for coarser yarns!). The fibers come out in continuous bundles called sliver. In the drawing process, the fibers inside the sliver are aligned and the sliver thickness is equalized. Finally, the sliver is fed into the spinning machine, in which it is rotated at high speed and spun into yarn.
Every batch of sliver and yarn is tested for evenness, strength, thickness and composition in our in-house lab.
The yarns are knitted or woven depending on the final use of the fabric.
Also depending on the final use of the fabric, there are multiple ways of finishing the process, such as compacting, brushing and washing.
9. finished product
The finished product ready to ship and deliver.