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May 21st, 2007
Clothes may be able to recycle themselves
Nanotechnology may be on the verge of enabling one of the UK's most wasteful sectors - the fashion industry - dramatically improve its recycling record.
A Royal Society conference on nanotechnology and the environment, held in London, was told that each year 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away in Britain with 80% being landfilled.
But a leading researcher said the days of in-built obsolescence of passing fashions may be over.
New materials and approaches working at the nano level will enable clothes to be re-used, enjoy longer working lives, recycled, even mend themselves or simply biodegrade harmlessly, said Professor Sandy Black, reader in fashion and textiles design and technology at the London College of Fashion.
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