Review of Wool Recycling and Reuse

  • Stephen RussellEmail author
  • Paul Swan
  • Mariell Trebowicz
  • Angus Ireland
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 12)


The clothing and textile industry forms a considerable part of the world’s economy. Of the more than $1 trillion sales of clothing worldwide, roughly two thirds is consumed in Western Europe and North America (University of Cambridge 2007). In addition to high-street products purchased directly by consumers, clothing is also consumed in the form of workwear, uniforms and corporate apparel distributed by brand owners and employers. Once this clothing is discarded by its user the main End of Life (EoL) options are in descending order of resource efficiency: (a) Reuse garments worn again after donation and/or re-sale; (b) Closed loop recycling garments used as raw materials for the manufacture of new products of similar value; (c) Open loop recycling garments used as raw materials to manufacture industrial products of lower value; (d) Incineration thermal energy generation; (e) Landfill. This chapter focuses on the collection, recycling and reuse of wool garments with particular emphasis on mechanical recycling in open and closed loop systems.


Wool fibre Clothing End of life Recycling 


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Russell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Swan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mariell Trebowicz
    • 1
  • Angus Ireland
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Nonwovens Innovation and Research InstituteLeedsUK
  2. 2.Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI)SydneyAustralia
  3. 3.International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO)BrusselsBelgium

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