Business & Policy | News & Insights

The Hong Kong Research Group Is Expanding the City’s “Green Machine.”

Published: October 15, 2023

Researchers say that Hong Kong is improving its “green machine” to find the best ways to recycle textiles and clothes, essential materials in the global fashion industry that have become a significant source of pollution and environmental damage.

The government-funded Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel wants to make it easier for the machine to separate blended textiles into materials that can be used to make new clothes and other things.

CEO Edwin Keh said in an interview that the institute also wants to help farmers grow cotton. He said, “Most modern clothes are made from a mix of materials. Polyester and cotton are the two most common.” “This is where we put most of our efforts.” If you separate the materials, they can be used again, not for anything valuable.

In 2020, PT Kahatex’s factory in Indonesia built the first large-scale green machine with help from a Hong Kong school. The H&M Foundation, which paid for the project, says that the technology behind it is the first to separate blended materials on a large scale without losing any quality. The feedstock that it can handle each day is 1.5 tonnes.

The foundation said on its website, “Even though most of the clothes we wear are made of mixed materials, the holy grail has long been to find a way to separate and recycle the fibers.”

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