SINGAPORE – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), a global resources-based manufacturing group, today launched the RGE-NTU Sustainable Textile Research Centre (RGE-NTU SusTex) to accelerate innovation in textile recycling and translate research outcomes into practical solutions that can be deployed in urban settings like Singapore.
Researchers in the S$6 million joint research centre will look into areas such as next-generation eco-friendly and sustainable textiles, and refabricating textile waste into fibre.
The aim is to study the chemistry of various textile materials and determine the optimal processes and techniques required to bring us closer to a circular textile economy. This is in line with Singapore’s Zero Waste vision, as well as the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
The research centre, located at NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, was officially launched today by Ms Grace Fu, Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment.
It comes at a time when an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is created globally each year. Only 12 per cent of the material used for clothing ends up being recycled.
The textile industry itself is responsible for 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.
NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said: “The goal of the RGE-NTU Sustainable Textile Research Centre (RGE-NTU SusTex) is very much aligned with Singapore’s zero waste vision to build a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient nation. This partnership between NTU and RGE draws on RGE’s industry experience as a global resources-based manufacturing group and leverages NTU’s intellectual assets in materials and environmental chemistry.”
RGE Executive Director, Perry Lim, said: “We want to contribute where we can achieve the most impact. More countries are banning the import of waste including textile waste. However, current textile recycling technologies, which rely on a bleaching and separation process using heavy chemicals, cannot be implemented in urban settings such as Singapore. This is where RGE can help, drawing on our 20 years of experience in viscose fibre making, to provide S$6 million in funding to establish the research centre and fund its work; share our global R&D expertise as the world’s largest viscose producer; and to potentially scale up the viable innovations and solutions across our global operations. Backed by Singapore’s strong research ecosystem and leveraging NTU’s engineering capabilities, we aim to catalyse innovation and develop a first-of-its-kind urban-fit textile recycling solution.”