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'Holy Grail:' How Textile Recycling Can Help Slash Emissions, Pollution and Landfill

Adrian Jones and Graham Ross have pioneered a process that takes blended fabrics and reduces them to raw components

Before and after the catwalk, the fashion industry is inherently ugly.

Textiles account for 10% of global carbon emissions. The industry is the world’s second-biggest industrial polluter, behind oil. In Australia, an estimated 3m tonnes of textiles goes into landfill each year.

The ability to recycle fabric is, say industry veterans Adrian Jones and Graham Ross, a “holy grail ... for the industry and the planet” that will help close the loop between resource-intensive fabric production and fast-growing piles of textile waste.

Jones and Ross have pioneered and trademarked – with input from the CSIRO and the Queensland University of Technology – a small-scale and environmentally friendly process that takes blended fabrics and reduces them to their raw components.

“We often seem to care more about old plastic bottles than we care about our favourite T-shirts,” Jones told Guardian Australia.

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