Transforming old jeans into thermal insulation

Le Metisse, transforming old jeans into thermal insulation. — Picture courtesy of Energy Observer productions via ETX Studio
Le Metisse, transforming old jeans into thermal insulation. — Picture courtesy of Energy Observer productions via ETX Studio

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PARIS, Aug 2 — To avoid incinerating two million pairs of jeans each year, Le Relais, known for collecting used clothing donations, has found a solution: transform them into thermal and acoustic insulation.

Métisse, the first 100 per cent French, biosourced thermal insulation, has the added advantage of being energy efficient, producing minimal greenhouse gas, and the production is done without water. 

ETX Studio presents “Protecting the planet one step at a time,” a regular feature in partnership with Energy Observer Solutions.

Every member of the French population throws away an average of 12kg of textiles each year. To reduce the amount of waste fabric requiring incineration, Le Métisse enables it to be converted into thermal and acoustic insulation that is biosourced and 100 per cent Made in France.

Exploring new solutions

Le Relais, a French clothing collection institution, found itself up against a significant problem back in 2010: the sheer scale of clothing collected, which was in too poor a condition to be reused. It was the victim of fast fashion.

In a bid to overcome the mass of unusable clothing, Le Relais set about searching for a solution, and in so doing developed a cotton-based insulation for homes, Le Métisse.

Environmentally-friendly, it provides thermal and acoustic insulation, which is more efficient than the mineral wool usually used for such purposes.

A second life for used jeans

In Bruay-la-Buissière in northern France, 450 young people involved in a scheme to get them back to work, beaver away amongst mountains of fabric bundles. Trucks arrive in rotation to drop off their loads.

Three sorting lines process 50 tonnes a day into multiple categories destined for the various recycling channels. The waste that is retained for Le Métisse involves cotton garments, especially jeans, intended for scrap.

They have their metal rivets and fibres removed before being shredded and mixed with new polyester fibres and compressed at over 120°C. The result: eco-friendly insulation with a particularly positive social report since all the profits are reinvested in Le Relais, half of which is shared amongst its employees.

Energy Observer is the name of the first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vessel to be self-sufficient in energy, advocating and serving as a laboratory for ecological transition. Criss-crossing the oceans without air or noise pollution for marine ecosystems, Energy Observer sets out to meet women and men who devote their energy to creating sustainable solutions for a more harmonious world.

Find out more: https://www.energy-observer.media/en/solutions. — ETX Studio

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