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Лого на Европейската комисия
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

CW – Circular Wool

An industrially manufactured end-product makes possible the use (upcycling) of a large quantity of this type of wool.

Sectors covered
Technology innovation in textile & clothing
Innovation priority
Circular economy and resource efficiency

Introduction

Our vision is to give new life to a wasted raw material. We are transforming European rustic wool from meat and dairy sheep – which is not considered to be of interest to the textile industry, neither for apparel nor for interior products – into a material for industrially viable and commercially desirable products by adding value through high-impact design, creativity and high-quality automated processes.

Lottozero is based in Italy, in the textile district of Prato. Not only are many of the sheep that produce rustic wool bred within a 100 km radius of the Lottozero headquarters, the company is also surrounded by 8 000 businesses collaborating in the area’s textile and fashion cluster. Lottozero’s network and know-how allows it to operate in a proficient manner in areas including consolidation of the supply chain. This means carrying out all actions necessary to streamline the raw material value chain and formalise the supply chain, including building relationships with breeders in order to raise awareness that higher animal welfare standards result in higher quality fibres.

Casalis is a Belgian company that has been working in the field of textiles for interiors for decades. Not only is Casalis the technology provider for the project’s highly advanced robotic carpet making technique, it also provides all of the technical feedback on the semi-finished rustic wool products. Casalis produces all of the initial prototypes in order to study interactions between raw material, design and finishings and executes all necessary quality testing on the prototypes, including the testing of the compatibility of the yarns and the machines.

Objectives

Coarse wool from the European milk and meat industry is currently a valueless by-product; it must be disposed of at a high cost for small breeders. To avoid these costs, wool not put in landfill is often left to sink into the soil illegally with manure; or worse, but also more frequently, it is burnt, producing dangerous air and soil pollution. Annual shearing (necessary for the well-being of sheep) produces 1.5-3 kg of coarse wool per animal, amounting to over 200 000 tonnes in Europe in total.

It is possible to process wool locally because there are still a few washing and carding units left in Italy, Germany, Belgium and France, but the end-product needs to be of high value in order to make the supply chain economically sustainable.

An industrially manufactured end-product makes possible the use (upcycling) of a large quantity of this type of wool. Together with high added visual value and a modular design allowing a high degree of personalisation, this guarantees the commercial viability of this sustainable, circular resource.

Outcome of ELIIT project support

Impact (to date)

The most important impact of the support action was that it allowed us to organise the project in a way that is now making work much simpler at every step of the implementation process. We were also able to understand how our idea could have an impact on the market and how we should position ourselves.

The support action has helped motivate us and keep us on track with the work and has opened our eyes to see things in a new light. We are looking forward to seeing the majority of the results in the future.

Partners

SME: Lottozero società cooperativa sociale

Country: Italy
Year of creation: 2016
More information: company website , InstagramFacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Technical provider: Casalis BVBA

Country: Belgium
Year of creation: 2020
More information: company websiteInstagramFacebookLinkedIn