In a collaboration between Wargön Innovation and the Red Cross, our textile evaluators sort and evaluate collected textile material from seven Red Cross stores. The collected textiles create a natural textile flow through our test and demo facility in Vargön.

Textile sorting in cooperation with the Red Cross

One of the purposes of our facility is to develop technology to handle large volumes of collected textiles for sorting on an industrial scale. The Red Cross flow allows us to test sorting and valuation techniques on a textile flow similar to the flow that will occur when the collection requirement for textiles comes into force in 2025. The collection requirement for textiles will give society large amounts of textiles to handle. In Sweden, about eight kilograms of textiles per person and year are thrown away, textiles that currently end up in residual waste and are incinerated.

For us at Wargön Innovation, as well as for our partner the Red Cross, it is important that textiles remain as high up in the waste hierarchy as possible. This means that we primarily want textiles to be reused. If reuse is not possible, the textile should be repaired and/or reconditioned. In cases where repair or reconditioning is not an option, the textile should be used for redesign. As a last resort, the material should be recycled.

The textiles that come to us from the Red Cross are evaluated according to specific assessment criteria and garments that are deemed to be in good enough condition to be resold as second hand are sent directly back to the shops. From the residual flows that cannot go to second hand, materials are sorted out for repair, reconditioning, redesign and recycling, collaborations with entrepreneurs and innovation projects are made possible by the extensive sorting. For example, materials from the Red Cross' residual flows are sorted out to Hodakova, Rave Review, Nimble Patch, TWOOD, RecoMended and others.

The Swedish Red Cross is a non-profit organization founded in 1865 and is today Sweden's largest humanitarian volunteer organization with around 25,000 volunteers in over 400 local associations. The Red Cross helps people affected by crises and disasters all over the world. One part of the organization's activities is the Red Cross' second hand shop, where the surplus of collected donations goes to relief work, both locally, nationally and internationally.

Facts and figures

Contact person at Wargön Innovation: Annika Ödman

Contact person at the Red Cross: AnnaCarin af Forselles

Read more about Red Cross second hand

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