Incentivising Change in the USA: exploring the business case for textile to textile recycling using post consumer waste, Evan McCauley

The need to tackle the growing textile waste problem is well-established for post- consumer, pre-consumer, and post-industrial waste types. If fibers were made from all the post- consumer textile cotton waste generated annually in the USA alone, it would be ten times the current, annual supply of organic cotton available globally. However, the scale of the problem is larger than the existing sector can handle, and it is not scaling fast enough, particularly outside of the European Union. It is still unclear how infrastructure development in the USA will be financed or conducted over the coming years and decades to address the gap. Technology gaps are no longer the primary barrier to progress; the textile circular value chain faces challenges to scaling which are commercial in nature. These problems relate to securing stable market partners, achieving optimal process economics, proving long-term financial viability and resolving foundational misalignments regarding ownership. The system being developed must be done so with post-consumer waste as a primary consideration because the textile waste problem shows no signs of slowing down and cannot be solved unless it provides solutions for post-consumer waste.

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