Sixth Fibre Recycling Symposium

7-8 June 2017
Manchester Metropolitan University


Arun Pal Aneja


Shaping the circular economy-textile redesign

Today’s linear economy, in existence since the start of Industrial Revolution, typically utilizes resources to make products that are soon discarded mostly in landfill i.e. “take, make and dispose”. The model is based on the assumption that resources are abundant, available, easy to source and cheap to dispose. Fashion, perhaps more than any other industry in the world, embraces obsolescence as a primary goal. The recent ‘Fast Fashion’ phenomenon exemplifies this goal; in producing low-cost clothing in high volumes is, by its very nature, a fast-response system that encourages disposability. Unfortunately, this model is unsustainable due to the fact that resources on this planet are ultimately finite.

A more resource savvy strategy for textiles, which currently has a dismal recycling record of about 12%, is the concept of a Circular Economy. Here, the biological and technical/mineral nutrients of modern society continuously circulate with a high rate of raw material utilization. The materials are recycled infinitely without losing value. A circular textile industry based on high value recycling into new textiles will enable the continuation of fiber consumption without depleting our natural resources or negatively impacting the ecosystems that we are dependent on, thus providing resource security and long term price stability for resources within the context of a thriving environment.

The paper will address the main issues of how we got here, how to eliminate waste, breakthroughs required, the key drivers and enablers, and the business models for a successful outcome. Case studies of companies currently using this strategy will be illustrated.


Arun Aneja is a Global Technology Executive and Change Leader known for expertise in commercializing new technology for profitable growth while improving business quality. He has provided strategic business and technical leadership for professionals and technical staff in locations around the world. He has over 35 years of experience in teaching, research and development, process/product engineering, manufacturing and optimization in textiles, polymers, composites, synthetic membranes and chemical industries with expertise in Six Sigma certification for product development and cost reduction. He is inventor of profitable processes and products and credited with over 30 patents and an extensive publication record.

Born in Jalandhar, India, Arun Aneja graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He received his MS and PhD also in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He was the Chief Technology Officer at India’s largest private sector company – Reliance Industries. He spent most of his career with DuPont Company in various functions and also as Engineering Manager at Monsanto Company. He serves as Senior Advisor on Advanced Fibers, Government of India; Expert on emerging technologies in fibers and textiles, European Union; and Senior Advisor/ Consultant on new product development on Fibers & Textiles, China Textile Academy, China.

His current research is directed towards (i) In-situ fabrication of nano composite materials, (ii) Circular economy and green technology for fibers & textile sustainability, and (iii) Company resiliency and ambidexterity.

Arun is recipient of numerous international awards. These include Svaty Memorial Award for Fiber Innovations, Czech Republic, DuPont Corporate Innovator Award, and Kirpatric Chemical Engineering Achievement Award from The American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Symposium Details