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12 Top Textile Recycling Companies Leading the Way to Greener Fashion

Textile recycling companies may not be top of mind for most, but read a little further further, and you will soon see why they are on the front lines of a habitable planet as well as a sustainable, circular economy.

For too long now, ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco-friendly’ have merely been marketing buzzwords added to fashion labels to sell more clothes. However, the ugly truth is that polyester (plastic) and other hard-to-recycle fabrics have made textile waste one of the most significant contributors to our landfills.

The world churns out a staggering 92 million tons of textile waste annually, contributing as much as 7% to our entire global waste output. Less than 1 percent of collected textile materials become new garments in fiber-to-fiber recycling. Most collected clothing and textiles are downcycled — cut up to be used in rugs, insulation, and other lesser-quality products.

Innovative tech companies are working hard to make genuine circular fashion as well as a sustainable wardrobe the new reality. Join us as we explore the trailblazers who weave sustainability into every stitch, proving that greener fashion isn’t just a trend—it’s a revolution.

What Is Circular Fashion?

Circular fashion, also known as a circular economy in the fashion industry, refers to a sustainable and restorative model that aims to minimize waste and maximize the value of resources throughout the lifecycle of clothing and textiles.

It is an alternative to the traditional linear model (make, use, dispose) and focuses on keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible through practices like recycling, upcycling, reselling, repairing, and sharing.

Let’s look at some of the critical elements essential to the success and sustainability of a circular fashion industry.

Less Material Usage

This would require that manufacturers use minimal materials in individual items, enhancing recyclability.

Removal of Polluting Materials.

Using fewer non-recyclable materials or harmful elements within the entire supply chain

Recapturing Everything

Collecting and reusing everything, from garment offcuts to packaging.

Longer Use & Reuse

Encouraging extended use and return schemes to keep items in circulation.

Safe Return To Nature

Ensuring any unavoidable waste is returned to nature safely. Textiles made from biodegradable fibers can be composted.

Here is a video from McKinsey & Company explaining the future of sustainable fashion and ‘circular’ business models.

How Can Textile Recycling Companies Help Make Circular Fashion A Reality?

Textile recycling technology plays a pivotal role in achieving the goals of circular fashion. It can provide scalable and economically viable textile recycling solutions. Technology-based textile recycling bridges the gap between fashion and sustainability. It transforms materials, enables traceability, and makes fashion more responsible and planet-friendly.

These technologies can also facilitate the recovery and reuse of materials from post-consumer textile waste, reducing the need for limited new resources and minimizing waste sent to landfills or incineration facilities, thereby supporting the circular fashion model. Here are some ways technology companies can help achieve a sustainable future for clothing and fashion.

Mechanical Recycling

Mechanical recycling involves shredding and reprocessing old textiles into new yarn or fiber to make new products. Advanced technologies can separate blended fibers, remove dyes, and produce high-quality recycled fibers suitable for apparel manufacturing.

Chemical recycling

Through processes like depolymerization and solvent-based recycling, textile waste can be broken down into its molecular components and then respun into new fibers. This allows for the recycling of materials like polyester and nylon, which are difficult to recycle mechanically.

Textile-to-textile recycling

Textile recycling companies are developing specialized technologies to recycle old garments directly into new textiles without completely breaking them down. This closed-loop approach preserves the quality and value of the materials.

Fiber regeneration

New technologies can extract cellulosic fibers from cotton waste and blend them with wood pulp to create new viscose fibers, reducing the need for virgin materials.

Traceability and sorting

Advanced sorting and identification technologies, such as near-infrared spectroscopy and digital watermarking, help separate textile waste streams by fiber type and composition, enabling more efficient recycling.

Here are some of the top textile recycling companies using technology to reimagine the fashion and clothing industry:

Top 12 Textile Recycling Companies

NFW logo

Natural Fiber Welding

HQ Location
Illinois, USA
Founded
2015
Num. of Employees
201-500
NFW Homepage

Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) is a leading textile recycling company in the USA, leveraging plants and natural fibers to create sustainable textiles and other durable items.

Founded in 2015 by Dr. Luke Haverhals, The company aims to provide alternatives to petroleum-based synthetic materials by creating plant-based textiles, leathers, foams, and other materials that match or exceed the performance of traditional petrochemical products.

Their technology seamlessly integrates into existing supply chains, allowing iconic brands to design and scale products with sustainability in mind.

  • Plastic-Free Performance Materials: NFW specializes in creating plastic-free alternatives. Their materials are designed to perform without compromising the environment.
  • Plant-Based Leather: Plant-Based Leather: One of their notable innovations is MIRUM, a plant-based leather alternative. Unlike traditional leather, MIRUM is fully biodegradable and doesn’t rely on harmful chemicals.
  • Material Platform for Circular Fashion: NFW operates as a material platform that aligns with the principles of the circular economy. Their goal is to create a closed-loop system where materials are continuously reused and repurposed.
  • Sustainable Textile For All: NFW utilizes abundant natural resources to develop materials for diverse industries, including footwear, automotive, and fashion.

Circ logo

Circ

HQ Location
Virginia, USA
Founded
2011
Num. of Employees
11-50
Circ Homepage

Circ has developed a ground-breaking technology system that returns clothes back to their raw materials. This process ensures that garments are repurposed, recycled, or biodegraded.

Their technology enables the collection of textile waste, sorting, and mechanical resizing for hydrothermal processing.

Circ is collaborating with leading brand partners across the fashion ecosystem, including fashion brands, manufacturers, and consumers.

  • Circular Fashion Technology: This company specializes in developing machines that remove CO₂ directly from the atmosphere, which can then be stored underground or used in various industrial applications.
  • Material Innovation: Circ focuses on plant-based materials and natural fibers. Using cutting-edge science, they are retooling the fashion industry.
  • Collection and Sorting: They responsibly source and sort fabrics for hydrothermal processing.
  • Responsible Chemistry: Circ separates synthetic fibers from natural ones using water, pressure, and responsible chemistry.
  • Spinning Like New: The output can be spun into “like new” fibers, ready for use by fashion brands.

Renewcell logo

Renewcell

HQ Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Founded
2012
Num. of Employees
51-200
Renewcell Homepage

Renewcell is a Swedish textile recycling company that has developed a unique technology to recycle used textiles into a new raw material called Circulose®.

By replacing virgin materials with recycled ones, Renewcell’s technology and partnerships aim to reduce textile waste, deforestation, and the environmental impact of textile production.

 

  • Unique Chemical Recycling Process: Renewcell is one of the first industrial-scale companies to turn old clothes into new textiles using eco-friendly chemical recycling. They shred and break down old garments into pulp, then processed into fibers and turned into thread.
  • Industrial-Scale Plant: Renewcell has established its first full-scale commercial textile recycling plant in Sundsvall, Sweden, with a capacity to process 60,000 tons of textile waste annually. This facility plays a crucial role in scaling up the production of Circulose®.
  • Certifications and Achievements: Renewcell has achieved the Recycled Claim Standard certification for Circulose® at both the demo lab and industrial-scale facility. This certification ensures the quality and sustainability of their recycled textile fibers.
  • Partnerships: Renewcell collaborates with major fashion brands such as H&M, Levi’s, and PVH to incorporate Circulose® into their products. These partnerships drive demand for circular materials and promote sustainability throughout the fashion supply chain.

Infinited Fiber logo

Infinited Fiber

HQ Location
Finland
Founded
2016
Num. of Employees
51-200
Infinited Fiber Homepage

Infinited Fiber Company is a developer of a recycled fiber technology. The company’s textile recycling technology captures the value in piles of textile waste by transforming it into a premium textile fiber called Infinna™. This fiber is made from post-consumer recycled cellulose and can replace virgin cotton directly in denim and other textile applications.

  • Infinna Fiber: The company’s technology produces a premium textile fiber called Infinna, made from 99% post-consumer recycled cellulose and can be used as a direct replacement for virgin cotton in denim and other textile applications.
  • Scalability: Infinited Fiber’s technology is now ready to scale for real-world impact, aiming to transform textile waste into valuable fibers on a commercial scale.
  • Commercial Applications: Infinited Fiber’s technology has been successfully integrated into products by brands such as Weekday, Wrangler, and Jack & Jones, demonstrating its practical application in the fashion industry.
  • Carbon neutral approach: Infinited Fiber is committed to being carbon neutral. Their technology contributes to the reduction of the fashion industry’s carbon footprint by repurposing existing materials.

Recover logo

Recover

HQ Location
Spain
Founded
1947
Num. of Employees
201-500
Recover logo

Founded in 1947 as a spin-off of the Spanish textile company Ferre Yarns, Recover has over 75 years of experience in textile recycling. This company primarily focuses on transforming textile waste into sustainable recycled cotton fibers and blends.

  • Sustainability Focus: Their process ensures that even waste materials contribute to a more circular industry.
  • Mechanical Textile-to-Textile Recycling: Recover specializes in mechanically recycling cotton fibers and blends, transforming textile waste into recycled yarns for new fabrics. This process falls under mechanical textile-to-textile recycling, contributing to a circular economy by reusing materials and reducing waste.
  • Proprietary Fiber: Recover™ produces a proprietary fiber made from unblended recycled cotton. This fiber is suitable for overdyeing, using minimal solvents and water. It represents their most valuable system.
  • Colorful and Low-Impact Blends: Recover™ blends their recycled cotton fibers with other carriers’ fibers that have been low-impact dyed. The result is a full spectrum of unique colors at the lowest environmental cost.
  • Innovative Partnerships: Recover collaborates with industry leaders like Rieter and Polopiqué to produce yarns with a higher percentage of mechanically recycled fibers.

Refiberd logo

Refiberd

HQ Location
California, USA
Founded
2020
Num. of Employees
2-10
Refiberd Homepage

Refiberd’s sorting technology can divert as much as 70% of textile waste to high-value recyclers, disrupting the waste cycle and opening new opportunities across the industry.

Refiberd builds intelligent sorting technology for textile-to-textile recycling, ensuring the efficient and accurate sorting of textiles for recycling applications.

  • Textile-to-Textile Recycling: Refiberd empowers the fashion industry to achieve true circularity by ensuring efficient and accurate sorting of textiles for recycling applications. Their focus on textile-to-textile recycling contributes to reducing waste and promoting sustainability within the fashion sector.
  • Efficient Waste-Sorting: The company’s sorting technology combines a state-of-the-art hyperspectral imaging system with artificial intelligence to detect fiber composition and contaminant presence in textile waste accurately.
  • Contact-Free System: Refiberd’s technology is contact-free, enabling a millisecond detection speed per garment. This enhances the efficiency of the sorting process and contributes to the overall effectiveness of textile recycling operations.
  • Women-led Innovation: Founded by a women-led team of engineers, Refiberd brings the cutting-edge of AI research to the fashion industry.
  •  

Worn Again logo

Worn Again

HQ Location
Nottingham, UK
Founded
2012
Num. of Employees
11-50
Worn Again Homepage

Founded in 2025, Worn Again Technologies is a company that is developing unique polymer recycling processes that will enable textiles and polyester packaging resources to be kept in constant circulation, driving economic, social, and environmental benefits.

  • Transition to chemical solutions: In 2012, Worn Again transitioned to chemical solutions for textile waste. They became a leading innovator in circularity by testing the dissolution of textiles at the laboratory scale.
  • Investment and Technology Pivot: With support from H&M and Kering, Worn Again pivoted to focus on technology development in 2013. Sulzer joined forces with Worn Again after a successful key separation technology industrial trial in 2017.
  • Partnerships and Collaborations: Vividye has collaborated with fashion brands and designers, such as Gina Tricot, to incorporate its sustainable dyeing technology into their products and collections.
  • Dual Technologies: Their dual-input/dual-output approach uses special chemicals to clean, extract, separate, and regenerate virgin-quality polyester and cellulose. This eliminates fossil fuel extraction and preserves natural resources.
  • Commercial Scaling: A demo plant set to start in 2024 will prevent up to 1000 tonnes of textiles from being incinerated annually—a 1000x increase from the pilot scale. By 2027, Worn Again aims to start its first commercial plant, each converting up to 50,000 tons of used textiles into polyester and cellulose for a new circular supply chain.

Protein Evolution logo

Protein Evolution

HQ Location
Connecticut, USA
Founded
2021
Num. of Employees
11-50
PROTEIN EVOLUTION Homepage

Protein Evolution stands out for its innovative biological textile recycling technology. The company has developed recycling technology that breaks down end-of-life textile and plastic materials into the building blocks needed for new textile and plastic products.

They aim to evolve the world toward a low-carbon, circular economy by transforming textile and mixed-plastic scrap into reusable resources.

  • Biological Recycling Technology: Protein Evolution is the U.S.’s first biological recycling company with validated technology that enables plastic production from waste rather than fossil fuels. Their Biopure™ technology breaks down discarded polyester into ingredients for new plastic, promoting a low-carbon, circular plastics economy.
  • Sustainability Focus: Their technology transforms plastic waste into recycled plastic with a significantly lower carbon footprint.
  • Supply Chain Roadmap: The company has a clear supply-chain roadmap that guides their plastic production process from waste materials, emphasizing a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to plastic manufacturing.
  • Industry Partnerships: Protein Evolution collaborates with leaders in petrochemical production, policy, consumer packaging, and fashion to drive the adoption of their Biopure™ technology and create a circular plastics economy. This partnership approach ensures a broad impact and adoption of sustainable practices in the industry.

Ambercycle logo

Ambercycle

HQ Location
Los Angeles, USA
Founded
2015
Num. of Employees
11-50
Ambercycle Hompeage

Ambercycle is a materials science company founded in 2015 with the mission to end waste in the fashion industry.

The company’s breakthrough technology, Ambercycling™, separates and purifies post-consumer textile waste at the molecular level to produce regenerated materials that brands and designers can use to create new garments.

  • Enzymes and AI: The company’s enzymes, developed through a combination of natural science and AI, play a crucial role in Ambercycle’s recycling process. These enzymes break down textile and plastic scraps, transforming them into valuable resources.
  • Cycora® Material: Ambercycle’s first solution, cycora®, is a premium fabric made from end-of-life textile waste. This material could directly replace conventional fabrics like polyester, emulating their functional characteristics while promoting circularity in garment production.
  • Industry Collaborations: Ambercycle has collaborated with various brands, including H&M, Gap Inc.’s Athleta, luxury brands, and Los Angeles streetwear brands, to incorporate their regenerated polyester material into garments. These collaborations demonstrate the growing adoption of circular materials in the fashion industry.
  • Technology Validation: Ambercycle has proven the effectiveness of its technology through constructing a pilot plant in downtown Los Angeles. With the funds raised, the company plans to scale up production of cycora, aiming to commercialize its innovative material for broader adoption in the fashion industry.

evrnu logo

Evrnu

HQ Location
Seattle, USA
Founded
2014
Num. of Employees
11-50
evrnu homepage

Evrnu is one of the latest textile recycling startups on a mission to reshape resource utilization and reduce the negative environmental impacts of the textile industry.

With a global network of manufacturing partners, Evrnu is making strides in the circular fashion industry.

  • NuCycl Process: Evrnu has developed the NuCycl process, a revolutionary technology that transforms old garments and textile production waste with a high cotton content into engineered fibers. These fibers, such as Nucycl®, provide a sustainable alternative to high-impact raw materials like cotton and polyester.
  • Environmental Impact: The NuCycl process has a carbon footprint of about 1 ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, approximately one-tenth that of viscose fiber derived from virgin wood pulp.
  • Partnerships and Collaborations: Evrnu collaborates with industry leaders, brands, and retailers to drive the adoption of its recycled fibers. The company has partnered with brands like H&M and Ikea, responding to consumer demand for sustainable and recycled materials.
  • Social Purpose Corporation (SPC): Evrnu operates as an SPC, which means they pursue profits while also promoting social good.

Carbios logo

Carbios

HQ Location
France
Founded
2011
Num. of Employees
51-200

Carbios is a pioneering company in plastic waste management, utilizing a unique enzymatic recycling technology. It is a member of Paris Good Fashion, an association that unites over 100 French players in the sector—brands, designers, and experts—around their commitment to sustainable fashion.

Their innovative approach involves using enzymes to break down PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics, which are commonly found in bottles and textiles, into their fundamental building blocks, or monomers.

These monomers can then be purified and re-polymerized to create high-quality, recycled PET plastics equivalent to virgin PET produced from petrochemical resources.

This groundbreaking technology allows for recycling all types of PET waste, including colored, opaque, and complex plastics that traditional recycling methods cannot process.

As a result, Carbios’ process supports a circular economy by enabling the production of new plastics from 100% recycled materials without losing quality.

  • 100% Recycled: Carbios has successfully created 100% enzymatically recycled white PET fiber from colored textile waste. Simultaneously, they’ve crafted the world’s first 100% recycled PET bottles from the same textile waste.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Carbios has partnered with multinational brands like Patagonia, PUMA, PVH Corp., and Salomone to implement its enzymatic recycling technology.
  • Recycling polyester and blended fibers: Their technology can recycle 100% polyester textiles and polycotton blends containing polyester and cotton fibers, allowing the recycling of a wider range of textile waste streams.
  • Piloting and scaling: After successful lab testing, Carbios is working to scale up and industrialize their enzymatic recycling process through pilot operations and a demonstration plant scheduled for 2025.

evrnu logo

Evrnu

HQ Location
Seattle, USA
Founded
2014
Num. of Employees
11-50
evrnu homepage

Evrnu is one of the latest textile recycling startups on a mission to reshape resource utilization and reduce the negative environmental impacts of the textile industry.

With a global network of manufacturing partners, Evrnu is making strides in the circular fashion industry.

  • NuCycl Process: Evrnu has developed the NuCycl process, a revolutionary technology that transforms old garments and textile production waste with a high cotton content into engineered fibers. These fibers, such as Nucycl®, provide a sustainable alternative to high-impact raw materials like cotton and polyester.
  • Environmental Impact: The NuCycl process has a carbon footprint of about 1 ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, approximately one-tenth that of viscose fiber derived from virgin wood pulp.
  • Partnerships and Collaborations: Evrnu collaborates with industry leaders, brands, and retailers to drive the adoption of its recycled fibers. The company has partnered with brands like H&M and Ikea, responding to consumer demand for sustainable and recycled materials.
  • Social Purpose Corporation (SPC): Evrnu operates as an SPC, which means they pursue profits while also promoting social good.

Conclusion

Beneath the glossy image of the fashion industry, a less glamorous truth persists: polyester, that ubiquitous plastic fabric, and other hard-to-recycle materials have turned textile waste into a landfill behemoth.

With consumers becoming increasingly eco-conscious, brands that embrace these circular solutions will gain a crucial competitive edge. More importantly, scalable textile recycling could help mitigate the fashion industry’s massive environmental toll.

The road ahead is challenging, but the cutting-edge companies profiled here are creating a way towards a truly sustainable fashion future – one thread at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of textiles do these companies recycle?

These companies recycle various types of textiles including cotton, polyester, wool, and synthetic fibers from clothing, accessories, and industrial textile

How do these companies contribute to a greener fashion industry?

They reduce textile waste in landfills, lower the environmental impact of producing new textiles, and promote sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

What innovative methods are these companies using for textile recycling?

They use methods such as chemical recycling, mechanical recycling, closed-loop systems, and advanced sorting technologies.

How can consumers support textile recycling initiatives?

Consumers can support these initiatives by donating used clothing, choosing brands that use recycled materials, and participating in recycling programs offered by retailers.

References

BusinessWaste.co.ukFashion Waste Facts and Statistics

Fashion For Good – The Future of Circular Fashion Report

ForbesSome Of The Favorite Greenwashing Tactics Of Clothing Companies

ScienceDirectGreenwashing and sustainable fashion industry

Ellen Macarthur FoundationRedesigning the future of fashion

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