November 2, 2022 Circular Projects

Ahrensburg, October 2022. The SOEX Group supports the Fashion For Good initiative in the preparation of the report „Sorting for Circularity“. The aim of the project is to expand and intensify cooperation between the sorting and recycling industries in order to promote a circular economy in the textile sector.

As a cooperation partner for the report, SOEX provides information on the goods sorted at its plant in Wolfen and makes its own sorting processes transparent. Utilizing the automated infrared sorting station facilitating material and color recognition at the SOEX plant in Wolfen, the project was also able to determine the predominant material compositions of garments. For this purpose, a total of 21 tons of post-consumer garments were analyzed. On this basis, industry-relevant conclusions could be drawn for possible recycling processes. All the results of the study can be read in the report „Sorting for Circularity,“ which was
published end of September. “We are proud to have been part of this important project. For us, working closely with partners within the industry is essential to truly bring circularity forward.“,says Walter Thomsen, CEO of the SOEX Group.

urrently, less than 1 percent of all garments worldwide are recycled into new clothing. Yet Germany is the vice European champion in collecting used and surplus clothing: 1.35 million tons of old clothes are collected annually from German private households alone. In addition, the amount of textile waste collected is likely to increase further due to new legislation such as the
Waste Framework Directive. Many of the textiles can be sorted and then reused, but large proportions are also suitable for fiber-to-fiber recycling, where unwearable garments can be made into new yarn. The research project by Fashion For Good comes to the same conclusions. In the 16 months of the project, 494,000 tons of used textiles suitable for fiber-to-fiber recycling were collected in six European countries alone. This promises great potential for an expanded circular economy in the apparel industry.

This is precisely the starting point for the work of the SOEX Group, which has set itself the task of making a valuable contribution to reducing textile waste and relieving the burden on the environment by extracting new resources from the old. With industry firsts such as the use of the infrared sorting station at the SOEX plant in Wolfen, as well as through joint research with partners, the SOEX Group is constantly entering the field of innovation and the search for new solutions. In doing so, SOEX‘s goal is to maximize recycling in accordance with its zero-waste philosophy. Therefore, SOEX is pleased to have been involved in the important project „Sorting for Circularity“ of the Fashion For Good initiative.

In particular, SOEX Group welcomes the report‘s push for more collaboration and exchange between sorters and recyclers to enable the connections needed for a stronger circular economy in the years ahead. It is also out of this belief that SOEX Group is continuously working out new relationships with collaborative partners to jointly enable a circular apparel industry.

About Fashion for Good
Fashion for Good is a global platform for innovation. To activate both individuals and the industry, Fashion for Good hosts the world‘s first interactive museum dedicated to sustainable fashion and innovation to educate people from around the world. The initiative also creates opensource resources to effect change. The full report, „Sorting for Circularity,“ is freely available on the Fashion for Good website.

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 recycling. 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.

Patricia Hagelstein