Giving Repurposed Denim a New Life
Deakin University created a revolutionary method that resues consumer and scrap denim while reducing the need for extra resources. This is done by turning old denim textiles into pigments which can be used to print or coat new fabrics. Pre or post-consumer waste textiles are mechanically shredded and ground into a very fine powder. The only input during this process is water, and no chemicals are used. The resulting powder retains the original color of the textile, so blue denim produces a blue denim-colored powder and red fabric produces a red-colored powder. After being mixed with water-based binders the pigments are ready to be used.
The technology can be easily customized, especially if a large amount of textile waste (i.e. factory off-cuts, samples, old stock) needs to be disposed of. This innovative technique actually reduces water and energy waste making it a more sustainable alternative to today’s practice. At the current stage, the company is only able to provide small amounts of powder on a laboratory scale. They plan to purchase larger equipment in the near future to vastly increase the amount of powder that can be produced from repurposed denim. Applications include apparel, footwear, accessories, and upholstery fabrics.
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