The Closing the Loop on Textile Waste partnership reduces waste in East Africa by leveraging a technology that regenerates fabric waste material back to virgin-quality fiber that can be used in textile production. Closing the Loop on Textile Waste in Kenya won P4G's 2021 State-of-the-Art Partnership of the Year award.
To date, the partnership has collected and sorted 100,000 kilograms of textile cotton waste and sold it as feedstock for rejuvenation. The commercially-viable business model is now able to collect and sort at least 36,000 kg of textile waste per month as input for the rejuvenation technology, which the partnership plans to grow to 100,000 kilograms per month. Compared to most virgin fiber production, the technology uses 99% less water, 40-90% less greenhouse emissions and 90% less energy.
Kenya is a leader in garment manufacturing in Africa, where many manufacturers dump their waste because they lack a market to connect it to or a waste-to-value solution that is sustainable. The local waste collection and distribution is also highly informal, causing a large share of textile waste to be dumped in landfills, polluting soils and causing toxic gas emissions.
Closing the Loop offers a unique solution in East Africa to offtake post-industrial waste, ensuring rejuvenation at scale and in a socially compliant manner. By building deep integration with suppliers, the partnership provides customers with unmatched traceability throughout the supply chain. The partnership also permanently employs an all-women sorting team. The partnership plans to scale its proven post-industrial waste model to post-consumer waste, tackling even more challenging textile waste streams in Kenya and the larger East Africa region.