Robots and sensors

Our Technology


Our testing facility, operational since 2021, employs two robots to sort textile waste. These robots sort based on material composition and color identification using Near-Infrared (NIR) sensors and cameras, respectively.

NIR technology is completely safe for humans, operating with longer wavelengths and lower energy than visible light.

Our scaled-up facility, operational since October 2023, operates without robot arms and instead utilizes conveyors to sort using the same technology as our testing facility.


Material identification relies on NIR spectroscopy, a rapid and non-destructive optical technology analyzing the molecular structure of materials. 

Leveraging machine learning, we establish boundaries for the sorted material by comparing it to known compositions and categorizing accordingly.


While our robots and sensors demonstrate remarkable efficiency, they face challenges with specific textiles. This includes fabrics with multiple layers, sorted based on the outermost layer exposed to the sensor.

Textiles with significant prints and loosely knit garments may also be categorized incorrectly, as the sensor struggles with recognition. The same applies to coated textiles.
Read about our textile sorting

Where are we today?

Mechanical recycling of pure cotton is already a well-established technology, while chemical recycling of polyester is still in development. It is anticipated that, when fully developed, up to 70% of textile waste can be recycled and reemerge as new fibers. Currently, this stands at less than 1%.

While 70% of textile waste can be transformed into new fibers, the remaining 30% can eventually enter open-loop recycling or synthetic gas production (McKinsey).

Waste Collection

The collection of textile waste is mandated by law in Denmark, as collecting it is a prerequisite for recycling.

The next step is the sorting of textile waste, involving a pre-sorting stage where all saleable textiles are set aside for resale, and non-usable waste is separated.

Subsequently, NewRetex's automated sorting facility ensures efficient and documented sorting based on material type, material composition, color and structure. The subsequent processes are currently not in-house but are still in the planning stages. This includes tasks such as shredding, removal of accessories, and other processes.

 In the Future

In the future, we aspire to utilize 70% of textile waste for new fibers, while the remaining 30% can be integrated into open-loop recycling or synthetic gas production.
New fibers
Open loop
Read about the Circular Description


Do you want to know more about the technology at NewRetex - get in touch with Andreas...
Andreas Lehmann Enevoldsen
Production Development Engineer

NewRetex News – from textile waste to fashionable yarns

Find out more about how we're turning post-consumer textile waste into yarns