Use of Post Consumer Waste (PCW) In Denim Fabric To Enhance Sustainability

Posted by Sustainable Denim on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 0

It is simple that we buy more garment than what we actually wear, on the other hand the human specially the females don't like to wear a denim passing one season as they intend to buy a new one. This makes huge amount of garment to be thrown out directly to the landfill but if anybody could donate their used garment to a charity then it would be safe for environment. 

The big brands and the producers are taking note from this huge wastage of clothing and trying to reducing the impact and their liability towards environment. To do so the use of Post Consumer Waste (PCW) in Denim is one of them.

PCW cotton for Denim productionWhen products have served their desired use and have been recovered from waste intended for disposal, they can be recycled into other goods. This is called Post Consumer Waste Recycling. 

Only the Americans throw away approximately 26 billion pounds of used cloth in every year. To save the environment from direct disposal of such harsh material there are many fabric mills across the globe are trying to reduce their impact of the business by recycling landfill-destined denim into new cotton fabric with their Post Consumer Waste (PCW) machine. 

PCW is really an amazing idea to recover all the Denim from market and use it for further Denim processing. Fabric manufacturers buy the used cloths which are ready to throw into the landfill and process through PCW machine and use this recycled cotton with fresh cotton up to 30%. 

Cotton Recycling for Denim 
In the process of cycling there are 6 different steps to cut the garment into slice it where every step tries to open up the fiber. At the end, a simple fabric is turned into some real fiber but the fibers are too short in length as well as carry less strength than virgin cotton fiber. This recycled cotton is further blended with virgin cotton up to 30% to use in Denim fabric. Use of more than 30% PCW is risky to maintain required quality and necessary Tear & Tensile properties of finished Denim.

PCW blends with virgin Cotton Fiber For Denim Fabric.

This PCW is contributing to reduce direct impact of the environment as well as reducing huge amount of water and pesticides that would require to produce virgin cotton.


Most of the big brands are keeping their footprints in sustainability through using 5%-20% PCW in their Denim products.



Weaving of Denim with PCW.
Benefit of the PCW Cotton in Denim:

  • Recovering used Denim or Jeans that is ready to throw into landfill.
  • Savings of huge amount of Cotton Fiber
  • Savings of Water and Pesticides used in growing virgin cotton.
  • Making the Denim product more environment friendly.

About the Author

Md. Firoz Kabir(M.Sc in Textile Engineering)

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