Industrialization of open- and closed-loop waste textile recycling towards sustainability: A review

Xinxin Huang, Yuhan Tan, Jiwei Huang, Guangzhou Zhu, Rong Yin, Xiaoming Tao (Corresponding Author), Xiao Tian (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With the improvement of people's living standards, the consumption of textiles is significantly increasing. Waste textile recycling has been attracting more and more attention. So far, many studies have been conducted on waste recycling, mainly focusing on technological advancement, life cycle assessment, socioeconomic impact, etc. However, there is a noticeable gap in the literatures regarding a comprehensive summary and analysis of the current industrialization of waste textile and apparel recycling. In this review, the global status of waste textiles and their recycling is introduced. Moreover, the classic recycling modes of open- and closed-loop processes are employed to delineate the up-to-date industrialization of waste textile recycling. Compared with other recycling technologies, mechanical recycling stands out as the most scalable and versatile technique within the textile and apparel industry. Although the closed-loop recycling achieves a higher degree of recycling for waste textile materials, the current industrial scale of closed-loop recycling is smaller than that of open-loop recycling. Accordingly, commercialized recycling routes are summarized and described. Finally, the challenges and prospects of waste textile recycling industrialization are proposed, emphasizing the development of efficient recycling technologies with low consumption and collaboration among industry, government, and the public, in line with the principles of sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140676
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2024


  • Commercialization
  • Recycling modes
  • Recycling technologies
  • Waste textiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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