These are clothing items which have reached the end of their wearable life but have a value in being repurposed. These items are sent out to our third-party partners in Asia, where they’re handled by a processing plant for upcycling or downcycling.
First of all, they’re sub-categorised into different materials, which dictates their onward use.
The majority of items have their zips and buttons removed, and all the absorbent zero-shedding fabrics are cut into wiping cloths. This is the primary use for this grade of product, which is in high demand around the globe.
The other thing we do with third grade textiles is to identify certain material types for different uses – so for example cottons and poly cottons are then graded by colour, and sold onto companies who pull the fabric back into yarn, which is then sold full circle back into the manufacturing stream – for example denim.
Anything that’s left from this sorting process goes on to be repurposed in other industries (in the industry this is referred to as ‘mutilated’) and has uses as insulation, furniture fillings, in mattresses and more.