Name: Reverse Resources
Sector: Digital platforms
Pros: Digital supply chain management that maps, measures and gives visibility to waste fabrics
Characteristics: Waste from the textile industry is mapped, with the goal of finding new uses for over 20% of the waste currently being lost
Reserve Resources – winner of H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award – is a software platform, currently in its development phase, which enables mapping and tracking of waste in the textile industry, so that scrap fabrics can be kept in the production chain.
Months of research in textile factories in China and Bangladesh have made the Estonian start-up aware of a major ongoing issue: the volume of production waste is systematically underestimated and undervalued. Process optimisation strategies and “lean production” methods notwithstanding, over 25% of resources (a figure that sometimes climbs as high as 47%) goes to waste during the production process: this is equivalent to 6 million tonnes of waste every year, with a potential market value of 15 billion dollars. Currently, most of this waste is lost, ending up incinerated or sent to landfill.
Reverse Resources’ software, available from autumn 2019, aims to improve circulation of materials and reintegrate over 20% of waste into the production process: by way of an alternative billing system, the waste can become an additional source of income for producers, and an incentive to make more data available to study. Once mapped, the fabrics can be traced in their successive life cycles.
The start-up calls for the participation of various stakeholders in the textile industry: on the one hand, factories are called upon to provide solutions for regeneration and reuse of the recovered textile waste; whilst on the other, buyers – commercial retail brands – can incentivise innovation and recovery of materials.
“I believe that real-time, secure exchange of data online is the key to systemic change in the clothing sector, in the direction of sustainability,” claims Ann Runnel, founder and CEO of Reverse Resources.