27/08/2019 – Sustainability — auf Deutsch lesen

Making the (cotton) world a little better

No-waste, sustainability, eco-friendliness: Values that are close to the heart of the textile company Velener Textil in Velen, Germany.


Ernst Grimmelt, Managing Director and Sales Manager Yarns at Velener Textil © Iris Schlomski


Added value for weaving mills and partner companies

The idea was born out of the expensive disposal of cones used for producing warps and cutting scraps of ready-made garments. “That’s just wasting unused and perfectly fine cotton resources,” says Ernst Grimmelt, Managing Director at Velener Textil. He launched the pioneering project that several years later presented the solution: the Wecycled system. Yarn and fabric scraps are collected free of charge from partner companies, saving them disposal costs. The cones are then taken to sheltered workshops. “This allows us to create jobs for people with disabilities,” explains Grimmelt. Here yarns and cones are manually separated according to type. Then the cotton scraps are broken up into single fibres, mixed with virgin cotton and spun into Wecycled yarns according to customer specifications. So far, the Wecycled yarns are commercially used for home textiles and knitwear. Velener Textil sources its raw cotton from Africa and its organic cotton from Tanzania.

Join us!

Velener Textil encourages weaving mills and ready-to-wear companies to join the Wecycled scheme and enjoy the sustainable and cost-effective benefits. Currently, about 15 percent of unused cotton scraps left on bobbins or discarded after cutting end up as waste. “Since the cotton leftovers are already spun or woven we first have to break them up into fibres. This process of returning processed cotton into its fibre state is done mechanically without the use of chemicals or other substances,” Ernst Grimmelt elaborates. Then these fibres are mixed together with raw cotton to produce the high-quality Wecycled yarns.

“The thus obtained and prepared fibres tend to be short-staple, which is why we add premium long-staple raw cotton. This allows us to make them tear-resistant for further processing,” explains Grimmelt. The raw cotton is supplied by “farmers in Africa, who we’ve been working with for many years,” adds Grimmelt, who as Vice President of the Bremer Cotton Exchange knows just about everyone in the cotton industry.

Only at Velener

Velener Textil is a family business in its third generation, now run by its two Managing Directors Bernd Spanderen and Ernst Grimmelt. Steeped in 80 years of tradition, the company has become a specialist in high-quality and tear-resistant yarns. Its weaving mill produces technical and home textiles on rapier and air-jet weaving machines.

Velener Textil can create the perfect cotton blend for any textile purpose, thanks to special processes and many tests. The new “Wecycled yarns” brand guarantees outstanding quality, great handling in the weaving machine, and high tear-resistance. The jury of the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative (DNFI) agreed and awarded Wecycled Velener Textil GmbH the Innovation Natural Fibres Award in 2018. The verdict: Reclaimed cotton is recycled to produce new yarns that provide homogeneous coloration, strength and other requirements for high-quality consumer products. Dalena White, Secretary General at the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO.org), noted that the sheltered workshops incorporated in the Wecycled scheme present an innovative aspect in sustainability that is often overlooked.

Why not join the Wecycled scheme?