TOKYO — Together with two subsidiaries of Asahi Group holdings, Teijin has launched what is says is the first closed-loop recycling system in China for polyester uniforms as it reveals it is now working with brands such as Henri Lloyd, Li Ning, Quiksilver as well as Patagonia on garment take-back programs.
In collaboration with Shandong Asahi Green Source Hi-Tech Farm Co., Ltd. and Shandong Asahi Green Source Milk Products Co., Ltd., both subsidiaries of Asahi Group, Teijin is using its ‘Eco circle’ closed-loop recycling system to chemically recycle uniforms — a first for China.
The move marks a new milestone for Teijin which says it is already working with more than 150 apparel and sportswear manufacturers worldwide to develop and manufacture products made from recyclable materials, as well as to collect and recycle these products at the end of their useful lives. These include well-known brands such as Patagonia Inc., Henri Lloyd and Quiksilver Europe. In China, Teijin has been collaborating with Li Ning, the nation’s largest sports apparel brand, since 2009.
As part of the new program, Tejin Fibers’ chemically recyclable polyester fibre is to be woven woven into textiles and dyed by Nantong Teijin Co., Ltd, a Teijin Group company in Nantong on the east coast of China. This month, uniforms made with the recyclable textile were distributed to the some 200 employees of the two companies based in Shandong Province, also on the east coast, which produce and sell vegetables, fruits and milk.
The uniforms will be collected after their useful lives and sent to Teijin Fibers' Matsuyama plant in Japan. After chemical decomposition, they will be converted into polyester raw material offering purity comparable to polyester derived directly from petroleum. The raw material will then be turned back into polyester for the manufacture of new recyclable products.
Teijin says that repeated recycling achieved with the ‘Eco Circle’ system significantly reduces both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional petroleum-based processes for polyester production.