During the 2021 ESM Plenary event, Slovenia presented the "Circular Economy in Textile Sector" use-case within the "De- and Remanufacturing for Circular Economy" demo-case. Starting from this input, on the 18 of March has been organized an event extended to all Vanguard regions to express the interest to join the activities and to show regional smart specialization connected to Circular Economy in textiles. In particular, the use-case is aimed at connecting stakeholders with complementary know-how in textile recycling (product post-treatment, product characterization, development and testing of innovative technologies, etc.) for potential projects collaboration and the establishment of new value chains in different sectors.
The event, available here, had two main sessions. In the first one, Slovenia clearly presented the idea for collaboration, highlighting the existing Pilot Plant and the regional critical mass of stakeholders working at different levels in the value-chain. Within the Vanguard framework, they proposed to work on the industrial scale-up of processes for the obtainment of secondary raw materials from textile products and on the establishment of new value chains and business models connecting textiles to plastic producers.
A second session, instead, was dedicated to the representatives of other regions in order to show their points of view and ideas of collaboration based on specific regional facilities and expertise. In particular, Catalonia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Norte, Wallonia, and Lower Austria regions presented their activities and future developments on the topic. The discussion touched on many interesting points, such as industrial symbiosis, recycling technologies and challenges at the technological and legislative level, collection and separation steps, and circular design.
The event represented a first step toward the definition of the use-case and its priorities. The mapping and description of existing technologies is progressing and will be followed by a development phase to define a portfolio of projects to be submitted in next calls and available opportunities.