Recycling old fabrics and off-cuts has been an uphill battle for years. As our fabrics are not a finished product and go on to be upholstered, it has been a challenge to seek viable recycling options for our fabrics at their end of life. In our endeavour to close the loop, we have continued to search for ways that we could make this process easier for our clients. Our sustainability journey has led us to a new textile recycling organisation, Upparel. We are very excited to promote them to all our clients to aid them in closing the loop, toward a circular economy.
Our entire range of fabrics is eligible for recycling through Upparel. They are an incredible organisation born out of Melbourne who are stepping up and leading the change for future generations in the textile recycling and upcycling industry. Their mission is to eradicate textile waste that ends up in landfill. They started out in 2019 recycling socks, now they’re upcycling all sorts of textiles into quality, useful products and supporting organisations and charities on their journey to sustainability and circularity.
For more information on Upparel see here.
TO BOOK YOUR COLLECTION:
Small scale collection (offcuts or materials less than 100kg total)
This is for our small scale upholsterers, makers and end users looking to recycle their offcuts of fabric from production as well as dismantling their furniture at end of life.
1. To book your collection visit https://upparel.com.au/clothing-recycling/
2. Simply choose how much weight you have to recycle and the number of boxes to be collected. You can recycle as little as one box up to 10kgs or 10 boxes with 100kg in total.
3. Once all items are packed, simply email the team at Upparel. They will assist with organising your collection within 24 business hours of receiving your request. Depending on your pick up address and the number of boxes you have for collection, they will either direct you to their Boomerang collection portal or book your collection for you and provide you with labels to print and attach to your sealed boxes.
Commercial scale collection (quantities 100kg+) This option is for our larger scale clients who are looking for recycling options for their production and manufacturing.
For commercial collections of 100kg + please email email@example.com and they will assist you directly with their commercial recycling process.
CONDITION OF ITEMS:
The incredible team at Upparel sorts all items by hand. So the idea is to imagine that you’re the one about to sort the box upon arrival and preparing them in a way that you would like to receive them.
1. Fabrics must be removed from the furniture.
2. Label any items with their fibre content if possible and if known. We understand this is not always possible for offcuts and dismantled fabric as things do get mixed in the process. Unknown fibres are sorted accordingly, so fibre content is not a requirement but definitely can help send the fabric to the best option for recycling.
3. Clean items, if you’re packaging up offcuts from production you can pack them straight in as they are already clean and unused fabric. For dismantled fabric that has been sitting on furniture for years, if possible it is ideal to launder the fabric so it is clean and ready for processing at Upparels facility.
4. Glues remnants on the fabric are accepted if not able to be removed and will be sorted and shredded accordingly.
5. All our fabrics are eligible for recycling through Upparel no matter the fibre content. As they continuously work towards eradicating as much waste as possible, they are still working with partners on ways in which to reuse and recycle PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), Polyurethane and Poly-fil. At this point in time these items are not accepted. These fibres are not included in any of our ranges but may be present in the foam backing so please ensure the fabric is detached from any backings or foams.
HOW ARE THEY RECYCLED?
One of the many driving factors of our recommendation to recycle through Upparel is that all their recycling is done right here in Australia through their many recycling partners. This is an extremely rare concept as for years Australia has been shipping our textile waste off shore, increasing the carbon footprint of the textiles and putting extra weight on third world countries to process our waste.
We are very excited to offer Upparel as an Australian made solution for our customers. Depending on the fabric and its condition the fabrics will be recycled differently. Some valuable fibres can be blended with virgin fibres to produce yarns that can be used in manufacturing to create new products.
Our wool fabrics are sorted into colours, shredded down and re-spun into wool yarn for weaving into a recycled wool fabric. Any fabric not fit for re-spinning including fabric with other elements such as glue still attached will be shredded for use in upcycled products such roof tiles,
insulation, office partitions and stuffing for pet beds.
For any questions regarding specifics reach out to the team at Upparel through their website.