T-REX Project consortium: Introducing Indorama Ventures

T-REX Project brings together major players from across the entire value chain to create a harmonized EU blueprint for closed-loop sorting, and recycling of household textile waste. We spoke with Edo Lieven, commercial leader of the PET fibres and filaments business for the European Fashion and Lifestyle industry at Indorama Ventures, to discuss his role in the project, the challenges it addresses, and the future outlook for the sector.
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Describe your role at Indorama Ventures.

I’m responsible for Indorama Ventures’ commercial fibres and filaments business for the Fashion and Lifestyle industry in Europe. My team and I are working with two key stakeholders: Direct customers who convert our PET fibers and filaments into fabrics, and brand owners along, for instance, the apparel value chain. Many of our contacts have set themselves ambitious sustainability targets to fulfill end-consumer demand. 

Can you explain your participation in the T-REX Project? 

Indorama Ventures’ role in the T-REX Project is to process the chemical recycled feedstock into yarns and fibres. The so-called extrusion process doesn’t allow impurities and is quite sensitive. That’s why the technical expertise my colleagues bring to the T-REX Project is highly relevant. Indorama Ventures has decades-long experience in chemical and manmade-fibre processes, especially in polyester, and we are committed to drive sustainable solutions. The use of circular feedstock is an important element of our strategy. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge the T-REX Project will need to overcome? 

From my experience so far, this might be to get a proper collection and sorting of waste streams, which will enable a further processing towards end-products. 

What is the biggest opportunity to unlock within textile-to-textile recycling? 

I see the biggest opportunity in boosting different ways of thinking and working along the entire value chain. To get to a true textile-to-textile approach, it is required that all stakeholders partner and collaborate closely. That starts with product design and material collection and goes all the way down to well-informed end-consumers who feed the system with the textiles they do not use anymore. From our discussions with brand owners, we understand that consumers may not yet always be aware of the challenges in textile-to-textile recycling, so we altogether have an opportunity to continuously educate the public.

Future outlook: How do you envision the textile value chain in 2050?

The world will be totally different in 2050, and so will the textile industry. Products will be based – to a large extent, if not solely – on recycled feedstocks, and we will also have a deposit system in place to ensure a solid feeding of the system.

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