Best of: Earth911 Podcast: SuperCircle Breaks the Textiles Logjam

Best of: Earth911 Podcast: SuperCircle Breaks the Textiles Logjam

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.

SuperCircle, a textiles recycling startup, has cracked the round economic system code for trend manufacturers. Meet Chloe Songer and Stuart Ahlum, co-founders of SuperCircle, which offers clothes takeback and recycling providers to main clothes manufacturers, together with tentree, Reformation, Mate the Label, and the round sneaker model Thousand Fell — which Songer and Ahlum additionally co-founded in 2018. SuperCircle launched in 2022 to an enormous drawback, managing recycling logistics and textiles processing for the retail industry. The firm recycled greater than 700,000 clothes final yr utilizing new sorting steps and applied sciences to separate natural and artificial materials and determine objects that may be resold.

Chloe Songer and Stuart Ahlum, co-founders of SuperCircle and Thousand Fell
Chloe Songer & Stuart Ahlum, co-founders of SuperCircle and Thousand Fell, are our visitors on Sustainability in Your Ear.

Textiles recycling has long been a challenge for North Americans — and below the very best of circumstances, huge quantities of clothes and different textiles are saved in warehouses to attend for downcycling to make fiber for insulation or filler. But with the rise of the $123 billion quick trend business, which is rising 15.6% a yr as of 2023, many tens of millions of tons of clothes are being shipped abroad, the place most find yourself in landfills. You have in all probability seen recent satellite images of a literal mountain of 60,000 tons of attire piling up in Chile’s Atacama desert. It’s an appalling instance of the take-make-waste strategy to clothes ourselves.

Using SuperCircle’s course of, artificial textiles are recycled into new fiber. On the opposite hand, natural fibers, like cotton, will be shredded to be used as insulation and filler in, for instance, furnishings and sporting gear. Technology performs an important position in SuperCircle’s enterprise, connecting return shipments, consolidation, sorting, and grading of supplies with the recycling course of to supply an end-to-end view of the reverse logistics techniques for trend manufacturers.

You can study extra about SuperCircle at

Originally aired Jul 31, 2023