The Nordic countries are big consumers of home textiles and clothing, but the textiles do not stay here for a long time. Although some clothes and home textiles are reused among friends, family, sold on marketplaces or donated to non-profit organizations (NGO), most end up in the residual waste and are incinerated. This is leading to huge material and resource lost since over fifty percent of the textiles could have been reused or recycled. Of the textiles that are separately collected, the majority are exported abroad for sorting and reuse whereas a tiny fraction is fiber-to-fiber recycled.
Seeing that the textile industry is one of the most resource consuming industries with a high environmental impact it is important that the Nordic countries increase the collection and recycling rates and reuse more locally. It will not be possible to export EOL textiles in the same way as before. Around 40 countries have stopped importing EOL textiles and the EU is setting requirements for separate collection from 2025. This will mean that volumes of EOL textiles will increase in Europe at the same time as it will be increasingly difficult to find outlets for these volumes. As collection rates increase, so will the proportion of textiles that cannot be reused but hopefully be recycled (recyclables). There is no organized collection for recyclables, but several innovative initiatives are happening within this area, not least in the Nordic countries, where many automated sorting and recycling facilities are emerging.
The SATIN project focuses on increasing circularity of EOL textile in the Nordic region and has a strong focus on supply chain management (SCM). SCM relates to balancing the supply and demand of materials to achieve efficiency in the material flow of EOL textiles and related information, and monetary flows as well as collaboration between actors in the EOL textile value chain. The purpose of the SATIN project is to develop and test solutions that can address the EOL textile collection and sorting challenges by taking a SCM perspective.