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New Take-Back Program Turns Unwanted Sweaters into Traceable, Italian-Made Yarn

A new Italian initiative is coming for consumers’ castoff sweaters.

Re.VerSo, a supply-chain platform that turns post-industrial wool and cashmere fibers into new textiles, is teaming up with yarn manufacturer Filpucci to debut Take Back, a program that will not only give “new life to dismissed garments” but also involve consumers as “active players” of the circular economy process.

To wit, consumers will soon be able to bring their castoff woolen and cashmere garments to participating boutiques to “trigger” a new transparent production cycle managed by Re.VerSo, which bills itself as the first and only scheme to reengineer wool and cashmere for fashion.

Launched in 2014 after years of development, Re.VerSo is the brainchild of five premium-textile producers—Green Line, Nuova Fratelli Boretti, Filpucci and A. Stelloni by Mapel—working together to create a traceable mode of transforming pre-consumer wool and cashmere offcuts into entirely Italian-made yarns, fabrics and knitwear.

Green Line sources and sorts the pre-consumer waste, Nuova Fratelli Boretti processes the textiles for spinning and Filpucci and A. Stelloni Collection By Mapel convert the fibers into yarns and textiles.

Re.VerSo raw materials, the mills say, are Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified, meaning they conform to rigorous specifications regarding recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices and chemical restrictions. (The GRS is handled by sustainability nonprofit Textile Exchange.) The reengineered fibers have also been third-party assessed by PRiMa-Q to require 92 percent less energy, 82 percent less water and 97 percent fewer carbon emissions than their virgin counterparts during manufacturing.

Some of fashion’s biggest names have employed Re.VerSo, including Gucci, which feted the recycled cashmere in its Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 men’s, women’s and children’s wear collections. Stella McCartney has replaced all its virgin cashmere knitwear with Re.VerSo’s version. And Eileen Fisher, Filippa K, Patagonia and Whistles have all launched capsule collections of Re.VerSo-made cashmere sweaters.

With Take Back, Re.VerSo is turning its attention to clothing at the end of its life, marking an “important step that envisions consumers and companies as responsible allies for a better future,” Federico Gualtieri, CEO of Re.VerSo, said in a statement.