The NOOSA story started with...
the observation that the textile industry is today the second most polluting industry in the world, responsible for 20% of water pollution and microplastic emissions. The world production of textile fibres amounts to 53 million tonnes per year, of which only less than 1% is recycled.
Textile recycling is currently very limited and can often prove complex. On average, no more than 30% is recovered when recycled cotton or polyester is used. These fibres decompose and end up in products with low added value, such as insulation material.
With NOOSA, we wanted to solve the problem of the complete reuse of used textiles - both post-consumer waste and waste generated during the production process, such as leftovers or misfits. It was important for us to create a circular product by integrating end-of-life management into our product even before it was launched on the market. That is where our strength lies.
Biggest challenges and milestones
The biggest challenge today is to succeed in setting up optimal collection and sorting systems to recover our product at the end of its life cycle and to ensure its recycling.
Although many initiatives are emerging in this regard, support is needed at national and European level to encourage brands to recycle their production losses and unsold items. And to educate consumers, who need to better understand why and how they can recycle their textiles.
After our fundraising and initial recruitment, the next milestone will be the launch of consumer goods made from NOOSA.
Where are you today, and what are your future plans?
We are actually working on a version 2.0 of our fibre to maintain our technological lead and integrate the challenges of traceability and recycling. From a commercial point of view, we are working on developing a network of European manufacturers to offer our product where we can generate value and create closed loops.
Golden tip for innovators?
Find out about all the support available in Belgium, both for research and innovation and for business start-up support. There are many types of support and often they are not well known. As far as NOOSA is concerned, the support of the Brussels region has been a real boost for our development.