France: Applying artificial intelligence in clothing recycling

A company in Southwestern France – has applied artificial intelligence (AI) to solve the challenges of recycling clothes.

CETIA – a company in South West France – has come up with a number of mechanical solutions to the challenges of recycling clothes. CETIA’s research team has invented a machine that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to clearly scan every detail on clothing, identify hard components such as zippers and buttons, and then use lasers to cut them out. They also built a machine that can use a large mechanical arm to pick up and hold shoes and pull on shoe soles.


The machine, which costs around 2 million euros, uses a near-infrared sensor to detect the material of the garment quite accurately – whether it’s 80% cotton, 20% polyester or 50/50.

Currently, only 1% of textiles in Europe are recycled into new clothes. The remainder is mostly used as insulation, padding or asphalt. This is because clothes are often a complex mixture of materials that must be carefully separated to keep the fibers in good condition if there is any hope of recycling them into new clothes.

CETIA says its AI laser machine can do this at a much faster rate and is growing rapidly as the technology matures. The company also has machines that can sort clothes by color and composition at a speed of 1 piece per second

According to

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