Startups that turn waste into wealth | Job Binary

With innovative ideas, using cutting-edge technology and the internet as key tools for successful implementation of ideas, startups in the Indian apparel industry are not only making money but also playing a vital role in sustainability. Indeed, several startups are dedicated to different aspects of sustainability, such as recycling and reuse. Few of them are making a fortune out of waste. There are entrepreneurs who are just starting out Muddle Art, Material Library of India, Doodlege and others collect various wastes, create them anew and make them reusable. Less than 50 percent of India’s textile waste is currently reused, repaired or high-quality recycled. With waste management being one of the major challenges and textile waste being India’s third largest source of solid waste, the need and importance of such startups will increase significantly.

Waste is now a resource for beginners

These startups address the social and environmental aspects as well as overcoming the waste problem. With their initiatives, the lives of garbage collectors are improving. Saahas Zero Waste (SZW), a Bengaluru-based socio-environmental enterprise, believes in a circular economy where all waste is recycled as resources. Vilma Rodríguez, the company’s founder, said: “The textile sector contributes a lot to the economy and needs to be accelerated with increasing turnover requirements, improving the skills of the people working. By reusing textile waste, we can save national capital and reduce our dependence on virgin resources.”

SZW has been working in the field of solid waste management in India for almost a decade. For textile waste, SZW organizes collection across Bengaluru through commercial spaces like RWAs, residential complexes, technology parks.

Some startups have created a systematic one-stop solution and collect all types of textile waste from brands and manufacturers to consumer and then act as a link between the manufacturer and recyclers/other organizations. end users/recyclers. Founded in 2019 by Sanjay Chauhan and Ruby Khan, Delhi-based Muddle Art transforms pre-consumer textile waste into raw materials and re-introduces it into the economy. It ensures that the material reaches its final destination without any contamination.

With its own pre-consumer textile waste management solutions, it currently works with brands such as H&M and leading exporters such as Shahi Exports and Cotton World.

Similarly, Noida based Material Library of India, Multidisciplinary designer Shubhi Sachan’s initiative aims to reinvent the use of industrial waste by combining the knowledge and skills of traditional crafts with modern materials. Also associated with IKEA and NIFT, its textile waste is used to produce new yarn, which can then be used to weave new fabrics. The project is a collaboration with after, an Australian start-up focused on the ethical disposal of textile waste, led by entrepreneur Yesha Patel.

Doodlege, a well-known Delhi-based organization founded by Kriti Tula, reuses pre-consumer waste and recycled post-consumer waste to make new clothes. His own waste is also turned into accessories and packaging. Scraps come in all shapes and sizes, but artisans are skilled at putting these pieces together. After the material is assembled, it is checked for defects and the assemblies are designed according to the various fabric problems and dimensions of the resulting panel. It consciously uses factory-released clothing to create high-end clothing and fashion products.

Working with Allied Blenders and Distillers, Doodlage was able to divert over 5,000 kg of fabric from landfills and save 46 million liters of water.

Read also : Textile units receive notification from pollution control panel; using fabric waste as fuel

3 streams of waste generation


Waste generated before the finished product reaches consumers. This includes waste such as spinning waste, fabric scraps/waddles, fabric dead ends and unsold garment stock.


Garments/textiles discarded by domestic consumers


Includes old clothes and tattered cloths brought to India

A well-deserved reward for their efforts

Despite being new and with limited team and resources, startups in this segment are gaining recognition for their efforts.

Muddle Art was recently one of 30 startups shortlisted for this year’s Swachhata Start-up Challenge (an initiative of the Government of India) for work on the proper disposal and management of pre-consumer textile waste. Before that, he was one of the top five winners of the “Techtonic – Innovations in Waste Management” competition, a joint initiative of Social Alpha and the H&M Foundation.

Likewise, Shubhi Sachan has had the opportunity to share his views, observations about the industry and various issues on many prestigious platforms across the globe.

Various trade bodies also actively support waste issues and help stakeholders address them in various ways. Fashion for Good recently developed a first-of-its-kind Textile Waste Value Hierarchy for India, which provides a consolidated view of how the ecosystem currently perceives the value of different types of waste. He used the hierarchical structure of EU waste for this hierarchy. This hierarchy acts as a tool for understanding the types of materials that require intervention to realize their value potential.

There are several other such startups that support similar aspects of sustainability, such as turning plastic waste into clothing and producing zero-waste clothing. As sustainability awareness continues to grow, it is not wrong to expect more such efforts and startups in the future.

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