I:CO - a global waste collection network for textiles

I:CO logo
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Technopolis Group

Founded in 2009, I:CO is an international circular solutions provider for the collection, certified sorting, reuse and recycling of clothing and shoes.

They aim to support innovative new recycling technologies which help close the loop of production cycles. Accordingly, they have developed the “I:CO take-back system”. This is a worldwide in-store programme that offers fashion-related companies a practical solution for taking on product responsibility.

The system works as follows: Fashion houses and retailers collect clothing and shoes from their customers in their stores – who are rewarded for doing so. I:CO then helps organise the logistics, sorting and transfer of the items to the various recycling loops. After separating the material, I:CO organises the industrial recycling of Post Consumer Waste (PCW). The recycled fibres are reused for products in various industries. In this way, the system contributes to a win-win scheme for all parties involved. Wearable items are redirected to new beneficiaries – extending their lifecycle.

Main results
  • I:CO organises the collection of clothing and shoes in more than 60 countries, collecting over 30 000 tonnes annually
  • In 2017, I:CO collected approximately 61 million items of clothing and pairs of shoes
  • As of today, they cooperate with more than 30 retail partners