Yodomo awarded Innovate UK funding
YODOMO’s reuse textile waste service works with businesses and creative communities to prevent textiles from becoming prematurely downgraded (shredded), sent to landfill or for incineration. It reduces the UK’s carbon footprint whilst supporting creative microbusinesses with free or low-cost materials to provide a truly circular solution to the urgent issue of textile waste in the interior design sector.
According to Sophie Rochester, founder of YODOMO, “With this Innovate UK award we continue to put reuse at the top of the list for textile waste options. Innovate UK supports our plans to design a solution for textile waste in the interior design industry. This has been welcomed equally by the sector that needs an urgent reuse channel for professional textile waste.”
Yodomo’s innovative commercial textile waste service will meet the demand of businesses looking to better report on where their waste ends up, whilst ensuring materials stay at their highest value within the economic system for as long as possible.
Applying new textile identification technology
The Innovate UK competition invited UK businesses to apply for a share of up to £13 million for affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in transformative technologies. Cutting-edge projects in areas including semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum, and engineering biology received up to £50,000 each from Innovate UK.
Yodomo's textile reuse service builds on a 2022 pilot project supported by the London Borough of Hackney that has already kept over 4 tonnes of commercial textile waste in reuse whilst simultaneously supporting over 1500 creative microbusinesses and home makers with free and low-cost materials. Yodomo’s ‘reuse first’ solution supports the UK's creative micro-businesses, fosters community and helps businesses report on their waste.
Yodomo will implement UK-developed textiles identification technology from Matoha that will help to keep materials in reuse for as long as possible, by identifying materials at the source so that they can be more widely used. The technology uses near infrared analysis techniques and advanced machine-learning algorithms to allow for wider commercial reuse opportunities.
Where textiles cannot be reused, Yodomo will work with the local textile recycling
company FiberLab to reintroduce materials back into the economy as new materials for the interior design industry and with logistics company Zhero to provide zero emissions transportation of materials.
The Innovate UK grant will support the ongoing development of Yodomo’s waste system, allowing it to offer detailed data reporting that will be valuable to business clients and work with them to introduce better sorting methods at source, and prototype a client data dashboard.
The textile waste challenge
Textile waste contributes globally to 20% of water pollution and 10% of greenhouse gas emissions*, with 92m tonnes of textile waste ending up in landfill**. While overproduction of clothing and fast fashion has become synonymous with textile waste, half of the UK's estimated 800,000 tonnes of textile waste is pre-consumer waste*. These materials include samples, off-cuts, unused carpet surplus and cutting-room floor materials that can easily be reused by the creative community who contribute £3.4bn to the UK economy annually.
Current waste systems make it difficult for these textiles to be distributed directly to the creative community and reintegrated into the economy. Often the inability to identify textiles contributes to premature downgrading or unnecessary disposal of materials. These pre-consumer textiles aggregate into a large-scale waste problem that affects UK textiles manufacturers, contract furniture showrooms, architects and designers looking to improve their sustainability credentials as they anticipate Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation and/or look to improve their ESG (environmental social governance) credentials when reporting on the lifecycle of their waste.
Textile waste facts at a glance:
- 92m tonnes of textile waste ends up in landfill
- 800,000 tonnes of textile waste is pre-consumer
- Textile waste contributes 20% water pollution globally
- Textile waste contributes 10% of greenhouse gas emissions globally
YODOMO positive impact to date:
YODOMO pilot scheme in 2022 reused 4 tonnes of textiles in one reuse hub in Hackney
YODOMO supplied textiles for free to 1500 creatives/ businesses / residents locally
YODOMO helps businesses report on their waste and put them on the pathway to Net Zero
YODOMO supports the creative industry who contributes 3.4 billion annually to the economy
PARTNERS supporting development of YODOMO’s solution
Matoha textile identification app for easy sorting of mixed fabrics
Fiberlab reintroducing waste materials as packaging
Zhero’s zero emissions logistics
YODOMO is a social venture, founded by Sophie Rochester in 2018. Having built up a community of over 220k online users, YODOMO now collects textile waste from businesses and makes it available to creative people to transform it into something new. They encourage participation in crafts and making by sharing the expertise of independent artists and makers through both online and in-person workshops. YODOMO currently has two dedicated circular hubs where materials are made available to makers and members.
About Innovate UK:
Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. It connects businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.
It funds business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.
You can read more about the Transformative Technologies grants at UKRI.
For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org
Further press information contact Julienne Webster on 07973 273913