HKRITA's sustainable textile recycling 'Green Machine' wins ITMF Sustainability and Innovation Award; machine solves challenges recycling blended textiles, and separates cotton/polyester blends at scale using only heat, water, biodegradable green chemical

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HONG KONG , September 30, 2022 (press release) –

The Second International Award in Two Months

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)’s research project – “Green Machine” won the ITMF Awards 2022 in the Sustainability and Innovation category. It is the second international award the Green Machine has garnered in two months, following the winning of the 2022 R&D 100 Awards in August 2022.

The ITMF Awards is organised by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation which was founded in 1904. It celebrates works of merit and notable achievements in the textile field. The category “Sustainability and Innovation” recognises achievements in the industry that have a focus on innovation, design, development and production. Such achievements must comply with the strictest standards of sustainability and respect for the environment.

“The Green Machine solves our long-term challenges in recycling blended textiles,” says Mr Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer of HKRITA. “Everything going through the hydrothermal process can be reused. The separated fibres are ready for re-spinning. The cellulose powder decomposed from cotton can be turned into functional finishes or raw materials for textile application. The cellulose powder can even be transformed into a water retention agent for agricultural use. The Green Machine has great potential to speed up the journey of sustainability and bring significant benefits to the textile industry and society as a whole. That’s why we are soon going to build the first industrial scale Green Machine in Hong Kong.”

The Green Machine is a hydrothermal treatment process that separates cotton polyester blends at scale by using only heat, water and a biodegradable green chemical. It has won a total of five awards since its launch in 2016. The first industrial scale Green Machine was set up in Asia in 2020. Its first licensing agreement was signed in 2021. This efficient commercialisation was achieved with the support of the Innovation and Technology Fund and the H&M Foundation.

“The fashion and textile industry needs to move to a planet positive future where we not only aim to minimize negative impact, but create an industry that gives back more than it takes. Tools to solve the recycling challenge within this sector are crucial, to ensure we repurpose what is already out there, and create value of what is waste today. The Green Machine is a great example of an innovation that can disrupt the fashion and textile industry if scaled.” says Christiane Dolva, Strategy Lead at H&M Foundation.

To see the details of the Green Machine, please go to:
Mr Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer of HKRITA, receives the
ITMF award during the award presentation 

The first industrial scale of the Green Machine in Asia
To download a hi-res file, please click:

About The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)

Established in 2006, HKRITA is funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government and is hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. HKRITA contributes to the competitiveness of the textile and apparel industry by providing one-stop services in applied research, technology transfer and commercialisation. HKRITA also plays a vital and expanding role in driving sustainable improvements in the industry, thus bringing benefits to society as a whole.

About H&M Foundation

The H&M Foundation is an independent non-profit global foundation for public good, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of the H&M Group, it was founded to accelerate the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. We use collaboration and innovation to co-create, fund and share solutions for the world’s most urgent challenges. To help safeguard the welfare of humanity we are catalysing the fashion and textile industry to become planet positive and accelerating development for inclusive societies. For more information visit or follow @hmfoundation on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.


For media enquiries, please contact:

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel
Ms SC Ku
Tel: (852) 2627 8112

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