With the Raan Group, which includes Reclay and RecycleMe, and the SOEX Group, two groups of companies combine their strengths in the circular economy and the textile industry. Reclay is one of the largest international operators of EPR systems worldwide. For more than 20 years, we have proven our expertise in the expansion of take-back solutions, especially in the packaging sector. For more than 40 years, SOEX has specialised in innovative services in the field of high-quality and efficient collection of used textiles.
Textile industry has a major impact on the environment
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that the textile industry, with 1.2 billion tonnes, is responsible for about 10 per cent of the world’s annual CO₂ emissions. According to a 2022 report by the European Environment Agency, from a European perspective, the textile industry has the largest negative impact on our environment behind the food industry, the housing industry and the transport industry. Moreover, the textile sector is one of the biggest drivers of plastic production after packaging.
Textiles are used, among other things, in clothing products or in household and interior design. Especially in the area of clothing, our consumer behaviour has changed enormously in recent decades. Phenomena such as fast fashion and annually changing collections further fuel this consumer behaviour.
The effects are dramatic, because a truly functioning circular economy approach does not yet exist in the textile industry. This must change and legislation has also recognised this challenge.
Extended producer responsibility for textiles
Hoping for an intrinsically motivated change in consumption and use behaviour would be unrealistic and not conducive to the goal. Therefore, both national and international legal developments are already addressing circular solutions within the textile industry. In Germany, for example, the Law on Closed Cycle Management and Waste stipulates a nationwide separate collection of textile waste from 01 January 2025.
Part of the solution can be a concept that has already been and is being successfully implemented in the packaging industry: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The European Commission has already presented a corresponding proposal for a revision of the Waste Framework Directive in July 2023, which provides for the introduction of binding and harmonised EPR systems in all EU member states. In return for licence fees, these systems take over the responsibility of manufacturing companies and organise the separate collection, sorting and proper recycling of used products.
Combined expertise of SOEX and Reclay Group
The legal framework is in place – now solutions must be found for a networked collection and recycling system in the textile sector.
With the Raan Group, which includes Reclay and RecycleMe, and the SOEX Group, two groups of companies with many years of international expertise in the areas of extended producer responsibility and textile recycling are pooling their strengths for this purpose. Together, the first EPR system for textile waste is to be created.
Reclay is one of the largest international operators of EPR systems worldwide. For more than 20 years, we have proven our expertise in the expansion of take-back solutions, especially in the packaging sector. With our sister companies RecycleMe and SynoptiCons, we also contribute our circular economy know-how on a daily basis with comprehensive consulting services and the development of digital products. For more than 40 years, SOEX has specialised in innovative services in the field of high-quality and efficient collection of used textiles, first-class sorting processes and innovative recycling processes.
Holistic concept for take-back system for textiles and shoes in Germany
Our goal is to develop a system for the industry that is in line with future legal requirements. In doing so, the system will assume responsibility for collection, sorting and reuse/recycling as part of Extended Producer Responsibility. In addition, we want to focus on digital and innovative solutions to promote cooperation between the players.
“By closing loops and offering modern solutions, we help companies in the textile sector to master the challenges of the future and to promote their customer-oriented way of thinking,” explains Raffael A. Fruscio, founder and CEO of the Raan Group. “Because a well set up EPR system does not only lead to reducing environmental impacts. It also helps brands and companies to reach the increasingly sustainability-oriented target group and to positively reinforce their own image.”
Invitation to participate in the development of a take-back system for textiles
We see the introduction of an EPR system as a great opportunity for the entire textile industry. In the current early phase, the cooperation of the entire value chain is needed. That is why we cordially invite all participants in the textile industry to join our project and contribute their own expertise. Because one thing is clear: the legal change has already been initiated and will lead to solutions – those who get involved now can help shape the future.