Elisava University and Girbau are looking into possible uses for a new material made from laundry lint which could be used in areas as diverse as pen drive casings, stationery or packaging.

The material, Clint, is a major step towards zero waste in industrial laundry, says Girbau. Students of Advanced Materials on the degree course in Industrial Design Engineering and the Simultaneous Studies Programme at Elisava, the University School of Design and Engineering in Barcelona, and Girbau Lab, the open innovation platform at Girbau have created Clint, a versatile, recyclable new material made from the textile waste left in the filters of dryers. Clint is a further step towards a new circular economy model in industrial laundry, turning waste into a new material and moving towards zero waste.

Similar to cardboard, Clint can be used, for example, in craft printing. Clint returns to the essence of craft processes as it is made with the collaboration of the Capellades paper mill, which has produced the paper-like material for new uses and applications, and that of Letter Cotton, a creative print shop, both of them reviving craft techniques and processes.

Elisava and Girbau are looking into other possible uses for this new material, of which there might be many. Among other options, Clint could replace plastics in making pen drive casings, or be used in stationery or packaging. Re-using lint waste, until now ignored and a cost factor, will make it possible to minimise its environmental impact and foster a sustainable laundry process.

Working towards the circular laundry
Both Elisava and Girbau believe Clint is a driver towards sustainability as Clint is more than just a new material – it's part of a circular model that represents progress in the laundry business, as it reduces and recovers textile waste and gives it new uses.

Girbau machines wash around 25,000 tonnes of linen a day all over the world, and in Catalonia alone industrial laundries are estimated to generate 1,500 kg of waste a week. Clint represents a further step towards a change of mentality to focus on sustainability, reinforcing circular models to reduce the environmental impact of industrial activities.

The project has also given Girbau the opportunity to provide Elisava students with the chance to find out about the business world at first hand and work with the professionals of Girbau Lab on a real project to develop new materials and re-use laundry waste.

For its part, Elisava makes agreements with businesses and institutions to add value through innovation and research projects carried out by its students. Under these agreements the students, always supervised by industry professionals and lecturers from the school, have the chance to work in real company environments in addition to the training they receive. The school also includes Elisava Circular, a committee for the purpose of reducing the institution's environmental footprint and encouraging good habits and practices linked to the circular economy.