Ahrensburg, August 2023. SOEX is pleased to announce a partnership with the CIRCULAR RE-
PUBLIC initiative. Together, SOEX and CIRCULAR REPUBLIC form a strategic alliance to further
advance the principles of the circular economy within the company and invest in a prosperous,
resilient and sustainable future. The long-term goal of the collaboration: to close the loop along
the entire value chain of the textile industry.
Through the partnership, SOEX now becomes part of an international movement that aims to
reform the way business has operated over the last two centuries. The linear system of produce,
consume, dispose is to be bent into a cycle. In this effort, the working group „Circular Textile
Platform“ follows a simple principle: waste fewer resources by keeping them in use – with the
grand vision of a world without waste. Together with a network of companies, initiatives, stake –
holders and representatives of science, united through the CIRCULAR REPUBLIC Platform, SOEX
is now increasingly working on new circular structures to make this vision a reality.
As a globally active specialised service provider for the collection, sorting, reuse and recycling of
used textiles and shoes, SOEX has been working constantly since the 1970s to create awareness
for the value of worn clothing. The SOEX Group sees itself as an important player in the cycle
that can ensure that resources are reused or recycled to conserve them and avoid waste. The
primary goal of the SOEX Group is to keep 100 percent of used textiles in the product cycle.
Because clothes that stay in use and are worn again are better for the planet – the material and
energy used to make them do not need to be replaced.
But the truth is that a true closed loop does not yet exist. The textile industry is still largely linear.
Worldwide, less than one percent of textile waste is sent for fibre-to-fibre-recycling. Yet the col –
lection volume in Germany, with 1.3 million tonnes of old textiles annually, forms the best basis
for a functioning cycle. The 150 tonnes of used textiles that reach the SOEX sorting plants every
day are an important start. But SOEX wants to go even further, optimise the cycle even more and
ultimately take on even more responsibility for climate protection. To achieve this, SOEX relies
on industry players coming together to make the right decisions, from design to material selec –
tion, so that the life of products can be extended as much as possible. This is where SOEX can
contribute experience and knowledge: for example, SOEX developed an infrared sorting station
that can recognise material using artificial intelligence and optimise sorting even further. On the
way to a completely closed cycle, SOEX now has CIRCULAR REPUBLIC as a strong partner at its
„I have personally known SOEX CEO Walter Thomsen for quite some time and have been wor –
king on sustainability and circular economy issues for a number of years, including with my shoe
companies Monaco Ducks and GRND.shoes,“ Carl Warkentin, founder of the Circular Textile Plat –
form at CIRCULAR REPUBLIC, commented on the newly formed partnership.
By partnering with CIRCULAR REPUBLIC, SOEX gains access to a start-up-ecosystem that for –
ges connections between like-minded partners and creates an environment of exchange.
In addition, the SOEX group will be able to further refine its corporate philosophy through
learning programmes on the topic of the circular economy and will have access to the latest
research results to be able to target corporate activities in line with the state of the art in
science. CIRCULAR REPUBLIC also helps SOEX to further expand its already internationally
linked partner network from science and industry and brings representatives of the textile
industry to one table. Together, they aim to achieve system-changing effects, revolutionise
value chains and pave the way for a sustainable and regenerative future.
About SOEX Group
The SOEX Group is a worldwide specialist service provider in the collection, sorting, re-use
and recycling of used textiles and footwear. The collected items are sorted and graded in
certified operations, following the international waste hierarchy: reuse is preferred over re –
cycling. Its research with partners for new solutions makes SOEX unique in the industry. The
goal of SOEX is to maximize recycling following its zero waste philosophy.
About CIRCULAR REPUBLIC
Circular Economy is the basis for a prosperous, resilient and sustainable economy. As part
of UnternehmerTUM, Europe‘s largest center for innovation and start-ups, CIRCULAR REPU –
BLIC empowers companies and start-ups to realize circular economy innovations and deve –
lop new business models. As a platform, the initiative connects relevant actors and aims to
set system-changing impulses along the entire value chain.