From the beginning of 2025, the member states of EU are obliged by EU directive to organize a separate collection of end-of-life textiles. “End-of-life textiles” mean textiles that are discarded by their owners. Such textiles include both textile waste and textile products that are used, but undamaged. According to a proposal to the Waste Act approved by the Finnish Government, the regional collection of the end-of-life textiles would start in Finland already from the beginning of 2023.
In the Mekstiili design project, a broad cooperation network will be gathered to innovate new methods for the collection, sorting and versatile reuse of end-of-life textiles. The near municipalities, waste companies, and other stakeholders like companies, entrepreneurs, organizations, educational institutions and potential project partners are contacted during the design project. The objective of the project is to create a regional network around Mikkeli, which permits a wise way to meet the obligations of the Waste Act. Possibilities for national partnerships are also established. A goal is to foster the creation of new, sustainable businesses in South Savo area.
The Mekstiili project is structured around five Work Packages:
- Work Package 1: Mapping of collection models
- Work Package 2: A review of sorting options
- Work Package 3: Innovation of reuse systems
- Work Package 4: Textile recycling as an employer
- Work Package 5: Communication and development plans
The project results in a development plan, cooperation network and project plans for further development. Impacts of the project are:
- New cooperation networks
- Better understanding about the entity of textile recycling process and its possibilities, challenges and development requirements
- Guiding players towards change and new practices
- Residents’ and entrepreneurs’ growing awareness of the climatic effects and solutions of textile recycling
- Understanding the regional scale of the textile recycling regionally and the impacts on employment