Re-Born Textiles: Turning garbage into gold

The journey of two local fashion professionals paves the way to the innovative circular fashion industry in Israel.

Just a few years ago, Israeli fashion designer Revital Nadiv was working for such prestigious companies as Disney and Fila-Gottex, manufacturing new items and promoting her own brands. However, she came to realize that the big breakthrough in fashion lay in the opposite direction. While traveling in Africa, she saw that brand names such as Zara, Mango, and H&M were being sold for very little money in the local markets, and there were huge dumps of discarded clothing brought from the Western countries. Some dumps were the size of stadiums, marking the demise of the textile industry.

Upon returning to Israel, Nadiv started her research. “I was staggered by the numbers,” she says. “Israel produces 500,000 tons of textile waste annually, which amounts to nearly NIS 150 million. It is burned or buried, if not sent overseas. I came up with an ambitious plan. Why not turn that waste into raw material for Israeli smart technologies?”