On 13 January 2023, around 60 students, including the Student Environmental Protection Ambassadors, Green Stewards and Senior Form Geography students, visited the factory plant of Novetex Textiles Limited in Tai Po Industrial Estate, where the company developed and used an innovative 'Billie System' to upcycle textiles. Unlike traditional recycling processes, it turns textile wastes into high-quality yarns without using water or producing chemical waste. The 'Billie System' generates less sewage and lowers the harmful effects on the environment.
The entire upcycling process was shown to the participants. The collected waste textiles were first sanitised with ozone, which was made onsite. Waste textiles were then manually trimmed as the seams of clothes cannot be used. The trimmed fabrics needed to be sorted by colour next, which was done by a camera. It read the colours reflected from the fabrics and sorted them into nine colour ranges. The sorted fabrics were then mechanically broken down into fibers and went through further sanitation, then finally spun into yarn. A lot of participants were surprised to learn that the fibers and yarn obtained were very soft.
Products made partly of this yarn, including handbags, scarves, and sweaters were displayed. Some of them were even made into tote bags and pencil bags from recycled Maryknoll uniforms! With the 'Billie System', we have the hope of solving excessive textile wastes in an environmentally-friendly way.