This report identifies and reviews end of life market opportunities for textile rag and fibre in the UK.

Key findings
  • Over 70% of textiles consumed annually is not collected for reuse or recycling or is simply unaccounted for.
  • The combined market potential of all the textile markets tested could be over £200million per annum by 2020.



The UK industry that reprocesses discarded clothing and household textiles is facing the combined challenges of rising costs and falling demand. At the same time, environmental pressures are placing expectation to recycle ever larger quantities of waste textiles.

Against this background, WRAP commissioned this study to evaluate whether technology exists that could be used to assist in sorting of end-of-life textiles and to evaluate how the technology might affect the economics of the recycling operation.

This report details two main areas where opportunities from End of Life textiles:

  • End markets where textiles can fetch a higher value
  • End markets where demand is high for volumes of cheap textiles.

These end markets that have been investigated in this report and the potential growth of these identified end markets have been estimated based on industry growth, estimated demand and opportunities.

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Background >>
Scope >>
Technologies to identify textiles >>
Sorting method and equipment >>
Economic evaluation >>
Stakeholder perspectives >>
Manufacturer >>
Logistics chain >>
Retailer >>
Consumer >>
Reprocessor >>

Conclusions >>


To find information related to that contained in this report, please use the following links:

Textiles reports and trials >>
Measuring the quality and value of textiles from various sources >>
A review of commercial textile fibre recycling technologies >>
Carpet guide – recycling and re-use of carpets >>

UK Textile product flow and market development opportunities >>

Where next?

Want to find out more about non-clothing textiles in sustainable textiles? Take a look at our knowledge-base for further reports, tools, guides and case studies:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>