India to expand the textile waste project through a partnership backed by the H&M Foundation to develop circular textiles practices.
The new partnership named Saamuhika Shakti project is Intellecap’s Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) and Stichting Enviu Nederland (Enviu) to improve the lives of 20,000 textile waste pickers in India, media reports said.
They will work with waste pickers already involved in the programme on two projects – to develop a micro-entrepreneurship model on textile waste, and to set up a circular B2B linen enterprise.
“Our goal is to generate additional income streams through textile waste,” said Maria Bystedt, strategy lead with the H&M Foundation. “Historically there has been minimal income opportunities for waste pickers in textiles, mainly because of the lack of interested buyers.
“Through this initiative, we are promoting inclusive circularity and improving waste pickers’ livelihood opportunities. This involves setting up grassroots waste enterprises that are managed by waste pickers, establishing connections to resellers and recyclers, and educating the public on proper handling of their textile waste.”
The waste-entrepreneurship model will be led by CAIF which will use Bengaluru’s existing dry waste collection centers (DWCCs) to aggregate and segregate post-consumer textile waste.
By building textile waste sorting capacity at the centers and training waste sorters and waste pickers, CAIF will develop a circular business model for textile waste and generate revenue for waste pickers.
Enviu will work to create a circular B2B textile service model, starting with the hotel industry. Waste hotel linen will be recycled and brought back into the loop as new towels, integrating waste pickers in the process.
It is currently validating the quality of linen produced from recycled fibre, before recruiting hotels to run trials. Envui will then work with CAIF to help train waste pickers. By December 2023, the aim is to divert up to 35 tons of cotton waste from landfill.
India accounts for 8.5% of global textile waste generation. The domestic post-consumer collection makes up more than half – 51% – of the country’s textile waste, while 42% comes from pre-consumer sources, and 7% is imported post-consumer waste.