Press release - International workshop about textile waste in Hungary


International workshop about textile waste in Hungary

June 12-13th 2018, Budapest

The International workshop about textile waste was held from June 12-13, 2018 at Óbuda University. The event was organized by INNOVATEXT Co. and the Sándor Rejtő Faculty of Light Industry and Environmental Protection Engineering Faculty in the framework of the ENTeR project. The CE1136 “ENTeR - Expert Network on Textile Recycling” project supported by the INTERREG Central Europe Program started in 2017 and aims to collect information about waste from textile companies and technical solutions for recycling textiles by research and business centres, to promote innovative solutions for waste management with a circular economy approach.

The 2-day workshop was addressed to policy makers, stakeholders, experts, companies, researchers and designers, who are interested in the circular economy and waste reduction in the textile industry. More than 50 participants took part at the event, among invited guests all project partners from Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary were attended. The workshop was a great mixture of the different approaches of the waste management, combining lectures of circular economy experts, eco-designers, textile researchers and companies from the Hungarian textile and clothing industry.

The conference was opened by Dr. habil. Laszlo Koltai, Dean, RKK Faculty of Obuda University (HU) and Roberto Vannucci, from CENTROCOT (IT), as a lead partner in the ENTeR project. Dr. Koltai was delighted to welcome the international audience and pointed out the growing importance of the environmental protection for the future. Mr. Vanucci explained, that this event is the last one of the so-called site-visits in the 5 different project countries and is part of the 1st-year project activities.  The event helps to achieve effective collaboration between different textile companies, end-users and technological centres focusing on textile waste reduction.

The first presentation was held by Adrienn Nemeth from Pannon Business Network (HU) about the goal of the ENTeR project. She underlined that the project will help to accelerate collaboration among the involved textile territories, and promotes a joint offer of innovative services by the 5 local research centres and 5 business associations (“virtual centre”).

Dr. Livia Kokas Palicska, the CEO of INNOVATEXT Co. gave an overview about the Textile and clothing sector in Hungary. She included to the overview also the Hungarian statistical data about the textile wastes generated in the production and after end-of-life. She presented the first results of the (non-representative) survey on state-of-the-art on textile waste management in Hungarian companies. The research was made from December 2017 to April 2018 using face-to-face interviews and questionnaires via e-mails. According to the opinion of the 26 participants from the contacted 70 companies, the main problems are: the technological and technical solution for recovery, recycling is not known and available, lack of market for recycled products, high processing cost of waste.

The presentation about the Eco-politik in Hungary held by Dr. Gabriella Holovács, Vice-Director for Environmental protection at MGYOSZ, showed the main sources of the waste legislation, the programmes and strategies of the Hungarian waste policy. As one of the stakeholder in the ENTeR project Dr Holovács highlighted that there is no specific waste management policy for textiles in Hungary. According the main findings of EIR, the waste management is still inefficient in Hungary, which is struggling to meet important EU waste targets. Unfortunately, the relevant legal and administrative environment is constantly changing in Hungary, and due to the new parliamentary election at 8th April 2018, the official stakeholders for the forthcoming period are not known yet.

The presentation about the Circular Economy by Mr. Máté Kriza president of the Circular Economy Foundation (HU) introduced several concepts and schools for the circular economy. He emphasized that the negative impacts of the textile industry are set to increase drastically by 2050: the oil consumption as resource will increase from 98 million tonnes to 300 million, TC industry’s share of carbon footprint from 2% to 26% and 22 million tonnes microfibers will be added to the oceans by 2050. Mr. Kriza introduced also activities of the the Foundation, aiming to foster and to accelerate the transition of the Hungarian enterprises and economy to a circular and resource-efficient economy. To this end it provides a knowledge-sharing platform for companies, professional and business organisation, research and educational institutions and local governments

Dr. habil. Marta Kisfaludy, Head of the Institute of Product Design at Obuda University presented the Results of teaching eco-design at the University. The participants of the conference could see tremendous creative ideas and interesting solutions for reuse and recycling, these all were developed in the Eco-Design semester of the Industrial product Design Engineering BSc degree program. The students used different waste and different type of fabrics to create new eco-design products for garment, home and offices. Several eco-fashion design works of graduated students were exhibited during the international conference.

During the afternoon session of the conference eco-designers could introduced their works. As first, Apol Temesi, PhD student at MOME (HU) presented her work at the Hungarian Multifelt Company, the Renewed felt. She turned the industrial waste of the factory into an amazing wall decoration tapestry called “Lambskin”. A documentary film was also screened during the workshop which presented the making of the masterpiece. The artist researches and explores the intersection of structured forms and industrial waste. We do hope we can count on her creativity and efforts to create new masterpieces from the products of the factory.

It is difficult to count all the works and eco-fashion related activities of Cecilia Reök, Founder of Eco-Design Team and Leader of the Green Bough Festival. In the presentation about the Eco Academy we could learn about the Eco-Design Team with which she has become a prominent participant in Central Europe's biggest international eco-design festivals. The artist has been always very sensitive to social and environmental problems and looks for solutions for the current issues of the ever-changing world. She is focusing on eco-design with creative and innovative work, more than 10 years.

Gergely Magyar, (HU) introduced the RE+CONCEPT BAG COLLECTION and the Medence Group Art and Service Partnership founded in 2000 as an independent physical and spiritual creative workshop. It includes professional designers and visual communication artists unifying environmental design and arts in the fields of architecture, furniture and industrial design, visual arts etc. The exhibited bags were part of the Hybrid Collection, made from different technical textiles used bicycle and car inners tube, leather, track tarpaulin, industrial left-overs, second-hand linen fabrics, sailcloth, advertising banners, etc.

13th June, the second day of the International workshop began with a scientific session. In this part of the workshop technological solution for Circular Economy and waste reduction in the textile and clothing industry were presented. The first presentation was held about Waste reduction in finishing by  Dr. Andras Vig, from BME and the Hungarian Academy of Science. Dr Vig gave an overview about the recent eco-friendly researches for the light industry at the Department of Organic Chemistry and Technology of BME. In textile field the results of the following main researches were presented: Optimization of reactive dyeing technology, Lightfastness Improvement of reactive dyed cotton fabrics, Synthesis of inclusion complex-forming compounds for dyes recovery from used dye bath.

Several interesting Examples of sustainability in textile finishing and textile waste treatment were presented by Dr. Emilia Csiszár (PhD. habil.) from Budapest University of Technology and Economics (HU).  She highlighted the environmental impact of the textile production and the role of the biotechnology as an alternative for environmental-friendly processing. She underlined that enzyme-aided technologies can provide environmentally-friendly alternatives for the chemical-intensive finishing processes.  Enzymes can be applied successfully especially in the finishing of natural fibres. In her research an efficient reductive/oxidative sequence was developed to strip reactive and direct dyes from cotton. It could also be proven that the performance and properties of CNC (cellulose-nanocrystals) – a very attractive new nanomaterial for high added-value products – gained from virgin and waste cotton are in parity.

In the second part of the workshop several Hungarian companies introduced themselves and their activities related to waste management. The participants could follow case studies from TEMAFORG Kft., OLD BLUE Kft., JULIUS-K9 Zrt., VEKTOR Kft. and PAMPRESS Kft.

The central factory of the TEMAFORG Textile-recovery Company was established in Kunszentmiklós in 1969. At the beginning used clothes collected in – and outside Hungary were selected to produce machine cleaning rags. From the beginning of the ’70 it has been started producing nonwoven technical and other textiles at the same time with the processing of the used clothes. Two different technologies were working together until the middle of the ’80. Because of a cleaning in the profile the factory has been producing only nonwoven textiles since 1985. The company produces different kind of nonwoven materials for many application, the weight is between 40-1500 g/m2. Several products have STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certificate. The recycling of the waste and composite materials is significant similarly to the regular materials. The annual production is 4-5000 million tonnes, mostly from import waste, and 50% of this is sold abroad. The waste of his clients is reused by TEMAFORG.

Aim of the Old Blue Kft is to recycle and reuse as much jeans as possible. The company collects and reuse more than 80 thousand denim per year from charities, shops and private people. From the waste it produces creative hand-made products for fashion, home and souvenirs, employing handicap people.

Vektor Work Safety, Technical Developer and Manufacturing Co. strives for manufacturing and distributing appropriate workplace garments, aesthetic uniforms and outfits, safe and modern working clothes and protective garments in line with the associated demands of their partners. Basic materials are always selected in view of the customer demands from pure cotton to mixed yarns, guarantee a good feeling comfort, feature remarkable tearing strength, preserve their shapes, colors and dimensions for long. It is an important aspect that the processed materials should also satisfy the partners’ demands from a health perspective, and therefore his clothing products attached with the OEKO-TEX® trademark have gained increasing significance. The production waste of their high-value functional textiles for PPE is worth to reuse or recycled but sorting and separation of mixture of fabrics and blended fibers is a serious problem, that should be solved.

Julius k-9 Zrt is a family owned company employing more than 400 workers. Starting with the establishment of Julius Export 2000 Bt as a family enterprise in 1997, produced muzzles, leashes etc. first for police units with service dogs and supplied to Austrian and Hungarian companies and authorities. In 2000 Julius-K9 developed bulletproof and puncture resistant equipment. The company got the permission from the Hungarian Ministry of Defense to export military equipment. In 2011 Julius-K9® has become one of Europe’s largest dog equipment manufacturer brands. Julius-K9® had unambiguously chosen a such German manufacturer, which, with the OEKO-TEX® certification, could ensure skin and environmental friendly materials and finished products. Due the the exponentially growing production volume, the quantity of the very special kind of waste will rapidly increase in the future.  The company is looking for the solution.

Pampress company produces cotton clothes for babies and children, mainly with Walt Disney licensed pattern. Originally started 30 years ago with screen printing and sewing, the company developed a whole vertical production line by the end of the 90’s. Basic raw material as by-product is imported, the high-quality cotton yarn is carefully selected, knitting and dyeing is performed in Hungary. Their production and products are tested for harmful substances and certified according to the STANDARD 100 and STeP by OEKO-TEX®. Their waste is reused as industrial cleaning rags or for trials in screen-printing. 

The workshop ended by a round table discussion of the ENTeR project partners, guided by Roberto Vannucci, the project manager of CENTROCOT (IT) in the late afternoon.forms and industrial waste. We do hope we can count on her creativity and efforts to create new masterpieces from the products of the factory.