Longford firm Cirtex upcycles 1k mattresses per week, diverting textile waste from landfill and incineration.
Cirtex is pioneering a circular business model that transforms used mattresses into upcycled components for the mattress, furniture and building insulation sectors.
More than 1,000 mattresses per week are being upcycled by Longford circular economy business Cirtex.
“This important innovative project proves that you can develop a smart business model that has a positive environmental impact”
Cirtex, which was founded by Rick Early and David Garland, is the successful recipient of grant funding through the 2022 CIRCULÉIRE Innovation Fund call.
This funding from The Department of Environment Climate and Communications enabled the business to conduct new product development aimed at preventing the incineration of the estimated 500,000 mattresses discarded every year.
The business this week demonstrated the breakthrough to Minister of State with responsibility for the Circular Economy Ossian Smyth, TD.
Upcycling revolution powers circular economy
The outcome is the creation of a product range that uses previously unrecycled materials from the discarded mattress to make new products, which in turn can be upcycled multiple times.
The innovative upcycled products created by this project makes Cirtex Ireland’s only upcycling textile company of its kind, meeting all regulatory and industry standards, with the capability to upcycle soft cushioning material, foam, fibre, shoddy, and coverings which were previously either incinerated or landfilled.
Cirtex also recently won the National Enterprise Green Sustainability Award.
“This was a great example of the power of partnership” says co-founder and managing director David Garland.
Garland explained that the initiative has been collaboration between Cirtex, with manufacturing equipment, expertise in new product development, and extensive experience in the bedding and furniture recycling industry; combined with interior creations trading as Caffrey’s Furniture Ireland, Tipperary County Council and Textile Recycling Limited (TRL trading as Clothes POD) the largest operator of clothing bins in Ireland.
“This important innovative project proves that you can develop a smart business model that has a positive environmental impact.”
Speaking on the potential to scale this business, Cirtex co-founder and CEO Rick Earley said: “Through the demonstration project, Cirtex has developed a green business model, proving that sustainability practices are more effective and efficient and make good business sense while helping to improve the state of our planet.
“Our experience combined with our innovative unique processes make us Ireland’s only upcycling textile manufacturer. We are proud that after just two years of operation, over 250,000 people are sleeping on mattresses with Cirtex products. As we scale, we have the potential and capability to divert up to 10,000 tonnes of waste mattresses from landfill and incineration, reducing Ireland’s carbon footprint and conserving natural resources. But accessing a sustainable supply of these thousands of discarded mattresses is crucial for us to sustain this circular mode “.
The project has validated the company’s technology, business model and market potential, says Dr Geraldine Brennan, head of Circular Economy at the Irish Manufacturing Research and CIRCULÉIRE Project Lead.
“With its strong financials, growing customer base, and sustainable practices, CIRTEX is well-positioned to scale up operations and become a leading provider of recycled components for the mattress and furniture industries. The company’s contributions to the circular economy are demonstrable and it’s scaling up will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and the Irish economy.”