From waste to fashion

At a time when sustainability challenges of plastic waste are in the spotlight like never before, there is a need of innovative circular solutions. How can one industry’s waste become another one’s source of input? Together with Filippa K and Axel Johnson International, Axfoundation aims at developing just that; a circular model for discarded polyester products from heavy industry by giving it new life as recycled material in the world of fashion.

From waste to fashion

From waste to fashion

“Discarded transportation straps and round slings used for lifting and securing heavy loads might seem a world away from fashion, but the two industries have one thing in common: the extensive use of virgin polyester as a key material. “

Today, material in straps consisting of 100 percent polyester is often burned.

Today, material in straps consisting of 100 percent polyester is often burned.

The Issue

Plastic has become one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Economic development is driving increased demand for this highly functional and inexpensive material, but unfortunately most of the production and consumption patterns of plastic are linear with only a tiny proportion of plastic being recycled after use. Circular business models and new avenues for increased material recycling play an increasingly important role in meeting future needs while addressing the growing problem of plastic waste.

“Today, the material in the straps consisting of 100 percent polyester is burned. This is a shame, as it could instead be an excellent material, for example, for the fashion industry.”

Our Solution

The project explores the opportunity to take one industry’s waste, straps and round slings from Axel Johnson International, and make it into another one’s resource, polyester for Filippa K, by creating a new circular ecosystem for this material. After a successful first test of recycling the worn-out polyester straps into PET-pellets, the initiative is now aimed at finding a model for scaling. As part of that journey, the market potential is explored by reaching out to potential buyers and end users of the recycled material to evaluate its contribution.

“Due to the significant volumes of discarded polyester and an increasing demand for recycled polyester in fashion, we see great potential in a larger scale circular model. “


Together with Filippa K’s own polyester supplier, the project developed a proof of concept in 2018 and mechanically turned the straps into PET pellets. This material has since been included as a raw material for textile production testing for Filippa K’s product line. In 2019, Axfoundation will together with partners focus on scaling up and finding a sustainable business model.

Projects within Circular Economy