In the collecting – sorting – recycling process chain, it is sorting that determines the economic and ecological value of the used textiles. TEXAID achieves an above-average second-hand value of around 58 per cent during sorting. The European industry average is between 45 and 50 per cent. Efficient sorting filters out usable second-hand clothes from the discarded textiles collected, thereby keeping them in the textile cycle.
In the TEXAID sorting plants, trained employees check every single garment by hand and classify it according to around 60 criteria.
Around 42 per cent of the items collected are categorised as 'no longer wearable'. Around 17 per cent, can be made into cleaning cloths capable of good cleaning and polishing work in industry. Another 17 per cent are sent for textile recycling, where they are either shredded and mixed with other materials to be turned into raw materials, or are made into insulating materials. Only 8 per cent of the total volume collected is incinerated.