Every day, new and novel ways for tech companies to address climate change in the world are developed, and most focus on alternative sources of energy or going electric with our vehicles.
It is rare that anyone considers the clothes we wear as being a source of waste.
Tech startup Circ wants to change that and is looking for ways to reduce the hundred million tons of clothing waste that end up in landfills each year.
The waste in the textile industry is profound and accounts for upwards of 10% of all global emissions when you take into account the growing of cotton, manufacturing of the plastic, and the production and distribution of clothing globally.
There are several things that exacerbate that problem, the first being the popularity of cheap and disposable apparel that is worn a few times and tossed.
The second is the difficulty in recycling the blends of cotton and polyester that make up much of this cheap apparel.
Circ has found a way to address the second problem which could help mitigate the first issue.
Using a chemical process, Circ is able to separate the cotton fabric from the plastic, allowing the garments that would end up in landfills to be turned into new clothing.
The approach has gotten the attention of some famous names including Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Prince William, who named the company one of the finalists for his annual Earthshot Prize which is awarded to companies making big impacts on the environment.
Circ is expanding and looking to build recycling plants around the world in the next few years and is partnering with some big names in clothing including Patagonia, who is designing clothing using the company’s recycled material.