Sorting for Recycling

Different fibers require different recycling processes. Sorting by material is the first step in successfully defining the right one for each textile. It is also where the issue begins. With our material recognition set-up we got it solved – automatically.

Currently, less than 1 percent of all garments worldwide are being recycled into new clothing. The main issue: Fiber-to-fiber recycling requires a highly precise sorting process, which is the only way to create new fashion from sorted clothing. However, sorting by material has posed particular challenges for the industry. At SOEX, we can explicitly feed differentiated raw material into the recycling process through our fully automated ‘Sorting for Recycling’ set-up.

How it works

An artificial intelligence recognizes the individual garments and can sort them by materials or colors. The process enables us to feed garments to chemical recycling and keep valuable resources in a cycle. Using this technology, sorted clothing can be recycled and turned back into yarn.

78 materials and material combinations can already be detected by the AI. The measurement accuracy is over 95 percent. Material selection can therefore consist of a complex number of different mixtures – until now, there have been no scalable technologies to recognize and sort these multifaceted garments for recycling.