German firm VelenerTextil GmbH has won the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative (DNFI) Innovation in Natural Fibres Award for 2018. The winning process, WECYCLED®, allows the firm to collect spent cones from mills and separate the unused cotton yarn in special sheltered workshops that meet the highest standards of employee safety and environmental protection. The Discover Natural Fibre Initiative (DNFI) was created in January 2010 as an outgrowth of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009, declared by the United Nations General Assembly. The purposes of DNFI are to advance the interests of all natural fibre industries and to encourage increased use of natural fibres in the world economy.
Waste is inevitable in any industrial process, and up to 30 per cent of yarn used in weaving mills, knitting mills and confection processing remains unused. Velen-based VelenerTextil has developed a sophisticated method to recycle the recovered cotton into new yarns that fulfill the requirements for colour fastness, strength and other attributes in high-quality consumer products. Commercial applications include the production of bed linen and knitted clothing, according to a report.