What 2021 will bring to textile recycling

By: Textile Pioneers, Copenhagen
January 15, 2021

For all of you interested in the circular movement – are you updated on these topics? 

1. We await a circular revolution for workwear and old stock

The circular revolution for post-consumer textiles is here, do you feel it? In 2020 we went through an EU financed project where we looked for and found solutions for recycling old, worn-out workwear from the medical sector, cleaning sector and manufacturing industry sector, and making these fibres into new workwear. 

In the last couple of weeks, we have created initiatives together with several Danish brands on recycling old stock and Danish supermarket chains on old work wear. Let’s face it, brands still burn ‘unsellable’ clothes and workwear is desposeded after use. We think it’s better to work together and recycled these clothes into new styles for these companies. If you’re a brand or a company offering workwear to your employees, make sure you evaluate this possibility in 2021.

2. Recycled pre-consumer cotton will appear as an option for brands

The waste in cotton production is huge. Our suppliers in India report that as much as 20-25% of the cotton is being wasted in production. This is the year when cotton scraps will go from being thrown away to becoming acknowledged as a real alternative by brands (instead of using only virgin cotton fibres). We and other circular nerds have spent the last years developing strong and good qualities out of cotton scraps. Start looking for recycled pre-consumer cotton in 2021!

3. Thinner and more delicate recycled cotton will appear

Until now, it has not been possible to make really thin and delicate cotton qualities out of recycled cotton (thinner than 160gsm single jersey). This is about to change! The technologies are improving fast and before the summer is here, we are starting to supply these new and thin qualities to customers.

4. Recycled banana-plant textiles will grow

The Covid-19 pandemic set an abrupt stop to a lot of the ongoing development of textile fibres made from food waste. We are slowly seeing this picking up again. 2021 will be the year when we can launch larger quantities of textiles made from banana plant fibres. The large-scale banana production globally creates a lot of organic waste material that can now be recycled and made into clothes. And the qualities are as soft as can be. Look out for banana fibres in 2021!


We never stop exploring new waste opportunities. Make sure to get the latest news and innovations.