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Girbau and Elisava Students Create New Material From Textile Waste

Barcelona, July 2020.- Students of Advanced Materials on the degree course in Industrial Design Engineering and the Simultaneous Studies Programme at Elisava, the University School of Design and Engineering in Barcelona, and Girbau Lab, the open innovation platform at Girbau – one of the world’s top groups manufacturing industrial laundry solutions – have created Clint, a versatile, recyclable new material made from the textile waste left in the filters of dryers. Clint is a further step towards a new circular economy model in industrial laundry, turning waste into a new material and moving towards zero waste, according to a news release. 

Similar to cardboard in form, Clint is made from lint, i.e. from the solid textile waste recovered straight from the filters of dryers. The innovation in this proposal lies in the origin of the raw material (laundry waste) and in the use of this stationery material for new purposes, through craft printing. Clint returns to the essence of craft processes as it is made with the collaboration of the Capellades paper mill, which has produced the paper-like material for new uses and applications, and that of Letter Cotton, a creative print shop, both of them reviving craft techniques and processes. 

Elisava and Girbau are looking into possible uses for this new material, of which there might be many. Among other options, Clint could replace plastics in making pen drive casings, or be used in stationery or packaging. Re-using lint waste, until now ignored and a cost factor, will make it possible to minimize its environmental impact and foster a sustainable laundry process. 

Towards circular laundry: commitment by Elisava and Girbau to sustainability

Clint is more than just a new material – it’s part of a circular model that represents progress in the laundry business, as it reduces and recovers textile waste and gives it new uses. Girbau machines wash around 25,000 tonnes of linen a day all over the world, and in Catalonia alone industrial laundries are estimated to generate 1,500 kg of waste a week. 

Clint represents a further step towards a change of mentality to focus on sustainability, reinforcing circular models to reduce the environmental impact of industrial activities. 

Girbau and Elisava stand out for their firm commitment to innovation, sustainability and circularity. Girbau has given Elisava students the chance to find out about the business world at first hand and work with the professionals of Girbau Lab on a real project to develop new materials and re-use laundry waste. For its part, Elisava makes agreements with businesses and institutions to add value through innovation and research projects carried out by its students. Under these agreements the students, always supervised by industry professionals and lecturers from the school, have the chance to work in real company environments in addition to the training they receive. The school also includes Elisava Circular, a committee for the purpose of reducing the institution’s environmental footprint and encouraging good habits and practices linked to the circular economy.