Researchers in the UK are set to investigate the application of enzymes in enhancing the durability of textiles.

A team of researchers from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been awarded funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to investigate the use of enzymes in prolonging the lifespan and recyclability of textiles. Led by Professor Jinsong Shen, the project aims to find eco-friendly solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of textile manufacturing. The initiative, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), focuses on developing enzyme-based biotechnology to separate blended fabrics into individual fibers for easier recycling. By addressing the challenge of intermingled fibers in blended textiles, the project could contribute to the industry’s transition towards a circular economy. The collaboration between DMU, Loughborough University, and industry partners Camira Fabrics, Woolmark, and Fox Brothers will specifically concentrate on wool-blended fabrics, including those combined with synthetic or bast fibers such as flax, hemp, and nettle. The successful implementation of this research could have a significant impact on reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices in the textile industry.

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