Svenmill: Waste Reduction


Reducing the amount of raw materials going to landfill is one of our primary areas of focus due to the high potential for savings, especially in a manufacturing environment. The unused yarn portion of Svenmill’s textile waste, until recently equated to 10.5 tons of 100% virgin polyester yarn going straight to landfill per year.

This intervention led first of all to a greater awareness.  One of the discoveries made was that incorrect loading of bobbins onto machines led to increased amounts of unusable yarn due to filamentation.  This new awareness led to greater care and attention to the correct loading of bobbins, which reduced their waste factor to the “costed” 3%.  This 3%, or 10.5 tons, would then get sliced off the cones and turned into unusable waste destined for landfill. It was only when they took to rewinding the remainder of this yarn for use in darker fabrics, that they were able to eliminate their yarn waste entirely in that division.  These two initiatives alone – once again, virtually cost free – resulted in their yarn waste factor for that division going from 3% down to 0.

In terms of potential savings going forward - if we take the 10.5 tons of waste yarn per annum, multiply that by the average price of yarn, which is R25p/kg, include a conservative yarn inflation estimate of 26% compounded per year (last year it went up by 40%), and assuming no increase in turnover or indeed estimated waste, we’re looking at:

  • after 1 year = R292,477
  • after 3 years = R1,125,334
  • after 5 years = R2,447,579

And that’s just the yarn from one division!