The soft, double-layered mouth and nose covers made of high-quality cotton were distributed both as donations to social institutions and for sale. In the meantime, they have disappeared from everyday life - but what happens to the masks that have already been produced and are no longer needed? As part of a recycling project, Marc O'Polo has launched an experiment to test the potential of closed-loop chemical recycling. On its way to becoming one of the most sustainable premium lifestyle brands, Marc O'Polo is shedding light on a variety of strategies and tools to use resources efficiently and effectively and close loops, in line with the circular economy.
In collaboration with TEXAID, a way has now been found to continue using the fabric masks that are no longer needed by testing an advanced recycling process to return already processed and unused fibers to the textile cycle. TEXAID is a leading company that collects and sorts used textiles. At its factory in Apolda, Thuringia, TEXAID sorts and prepares the masks accordingly for the recycler Renewcell in Sundsvall, Sweden. Renewcell processes used textiles recovering cellulose through a patented recycling process which is then turned into a dissolving pulp; the pulp can be further processed into viscose at other partner facilities. The main aim here is to recover the cellulose-rich cotton, as a resource for new fibers. In addition, this fiber-to-fiber recycling project is analyzing in detail how the differently dyed fabrics behave in the recycling process.
The test project has now been successfully completed and the many unused and no longer needed Marc O'Polo fabric masks could be recycled back into fibers. This means that new textiles can now be produced from used ones over and over again.
Marc O'Polo understands sustainability not only in terms of natural and raw materials, but also as an ongoing, holistic process as well as in terms of society as a whole and as a company.
Further information on the Marc O'Polo sustainability strategy as well as details on the sustainable products can be found here: https://company.marc-o-polo.com/en/sustainability