Industrial textile recycling and reuse in Brazil: case study and considerations concerning the circular economy

Abstract Textile products are present in all aspects of our lives and drive a significant part of the world economy. Issues related to enterprise competitiveness, sustainability, limitation of natural resources, environmental and social impacts are increasingly considered. In this context, the recovery and recycling of textile materials are essential. This study aimed to present an overview of the Brazilian textile and clothing industry, highlighting the mechanical and chemical recycling processes and reuse. We also discuss the reasons for importing textile waste, and considerations about circular economy concepts, correlating them to the key factors and obstacles involving industrial operation of textile recycling. The authors conducted technical visits to textile recycling industries in order to observe the production processes and identify their main challenges. Nevertheless, the initiatives show that Brazil is on track for industrial sustainability, following a global production trend.