Sustainable inspiration: from linear to circular textile chains

An inspiring news article from the online edition of the Zaan Post – Saturday May 11th 2030
Textile industry celebrates circular milestone with fashion show
WORMERVEER, May 11th 2030 – At a spectacular fashion show yesterday at the sunlit market square in Wormerveer, the models on the catwalk not only showed the latest fashion trends, but also an impressive number of circular innovations of the textile industry in Zaanstad. Every garment shown on the catwalk was equipped with a marker that was ‘read’ by the moderator with the help of an infrared scanner. This enabled the audience to take a closer look at the passport of the garment with a special app on their smartphones. This passport included data about the designer, about how and where the raw materials have been produced and which local companies have collected, sorted, fiberized, woven and finally composed the garments. With this ground-breaking example of ‘tracking & tracing’ the textile industry of Zaanstad has marked an impressive ‘circular milestone’.

At the market square, visitors could exchange their discarded clothes at a central collection point for new fashionable garments. After the fashion show, a lot of people rose to the occasion and proudly dressed themselves with some extraordinary pieces, such as a skirt for men, an extravagant t-shirt for children and a number of extravagant blouses that can be worn by men as well as women. At the central collection point, visitors were welcomed by employees of Wieland Textiles from Wormerveer. At an improvised counter, Director Mitchel Bon, his father Hans and his brother Kellen, collected all the bags with used garments, took out the clothes and placed them on the mobile conveyor belt behind the counter. Along the conveyor belt, Wieland’s ‘dream team’ sorted the best pieces out of the piles of garments.

Former Director Hans Bon looks back to the event with a lot of satisfaction: ‘In the past few years, our team has been curtailed, because we have gradually completely down-sized the export of second-hand clothes to Afrika, Asia and Eastern Europe. Our dream team has only sorted the best pieces of the garments we have collected; these are the clothes that are fashionable and have a good quality, which makes It possible tot rent them to ‘garment libraries’ in the region. The rest will be sorted by Fibersort, our state-of-the-art optical sorting installation that can sort discarded garments with high speed based on compostion, color and the structure of the fabrics. We distribute the batches that are sorted by Fibersort and that only contain homogeneously composed materials to other textile companies that have been located in North Holland in the past few years. In Zaanstad, we collaborate with a consortium of innovative textile companies able to sort, fiberize, spin and weave big volumes of used garments professionally. This consortium works closely together with designers, production companies and retailers that are mainly active in the cities of Haarlem, Amsterdam and Alkmaar. In North Holland, we’ve developed a textile industry that is completely circular; as such, it is an inspiring example for the rest of the world. A new manufacturing industry to be proud of!’
At close distance, the public was able to follow the improvised sorting process at the market square with their own eyes. During a small ‘contest’, some enthusiastic visitors were giving it a try as well, and they experienced that it takes a lot of expertise to ‘knit a circle of textiles’.