Spinning it around

Just one quarter of used textiles is collected separately in Rotterdam. In the current system, there is no business case to collect more. We need to valorize our used, non-rewearable, textiles to incentivize collection and ensure we reach the scale to make circular textiles a reality.

The Netherlands are #6 importer and #6 exporter of used textiles worldwide (see the UN Comtrade database). The Port of Rotterdam is an important transit hub for used textiles, a merchandise facing a growing supply and a demand that is in constant decline.

What if Rotterdam would create its own demand for both the used textiles from its citizens as well as the low value surplus being traded in the port? We could create jobs for those struggling to find one, save on our costs for (textile) waste incineration, realize our circular ambitions and stimulate the textile industry in Rotterdam.

EigenDraads (meaning: own thread) is the missing piece between the collection and recycling of non-rewearable texiles in the Rotterdam city and port.


August 2019 – The pilot has started! Zippers and buttons have been removed from Rotterdam textiles by people facing a distance to the labour market. Our pilot feedstock is (almost) on its way to be turned into polyester yarn. Stay tuned for the full story on the origin and destination of our pilot materials!

April 2019 – The value of recovered textiles is determined by their potential application in new products. Building on her (technical) knowledge on textiles, our new team member Remi explores the potential new destinations for EigenDraads outputs. On our way towards the first pilot with used textiles from Rotterdam!

February 2019 – EigenDraads designs the future of used textiles in the urban environment, starting in Rotterdam. It is an honour to join the European DESIGNSCAPES programme as one of the 50 initiatives supported on their journey from idea to realisation.

January 2019 – We are very proud to have been selected by the city of Rotterdam as one of the entrepreneurs supported by the CityLab010 innovation programme! We will collaborate with other dreamers and do-ers in the context of this programme for the next 3 years to turn our ambition into reality.

About us

Realizing nobody will actually benefit from our constant hunger for new stuff made with new materials, Hilde van Duijn switched from the start of the textiles production to the – often forgotten – end of the value chain. What actually happens once we disgard our textile? How can we valorize these materials, while creating job opportunities for those that need them? Next to her position at Circle Economy as project manager for the Interreg Fibersort project, Hilde created EigenDraads to valorize used textiles – starting in her own region. What started as a wild idea has developed into an initiative with the right ingredients to make textile valorization at scale a reality!

As a textiles researcher and -designer, Remi Veldhoven is on the constant search to (re)gain value for textiles as an end product. From this ambition Remi joined EigenDraads in March 2019. Besides this position Remi is a product developer at Wolkat and is involved in several projects as a freelancer. She focuses on the future of new resources for the production of textiles, as well as on textiles from our past. At EigenDraads Remi explores the potential to reuse discarded textiles in new products.


Would you like to learn more and/or stay up-to-date on our activities? Let us know:

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