George Brown College Partners with Joe Fresh to Further Innovation in Textile Recycling

George Brown College's Fashion Exchange partners with Joe Fresh to research textile recycling.

TORONTO – As a leader in fashion education, design, production and entrepreneurship, George Brown College is pleased to announce a collaboration between its Fashion Exchange and Joe Fresh, one of Canada’s leading fashion retailers.

Textile waste is a major source of landfill, with the average person disposing of 80 pounds of textile waste annually; up to 85 per cent of that could instead be collected and reused or recycled.

As part of their corporate social responsibility mandate, Joe Fresh will work with George Brown College’s Fashion Exchange to conduct research into cellulosic fiber regeneration from textile waste.  The results could ultimately lead to new recycling methods, positively impacting the Canadian apparel industry.

The project will include experimenting with new and innovative techniques for dissolving and regenerating cellulosic textile waste and transforming it into new fiber. The aim is to help close the loop in the circular economy of materials that may otherwise be discarded.

Over the next two years, Joe Fresh will contribute $100,000 toward the research program, which is slated to encompass environmental scans, comprehensive literature reviews, examination of the wood pulp and alternative cellulosic fiber industries and the utilization of textile chemical engineering expertise to strengthen and validate the findings.

“There is enormous potential to provide more sustainable solutions for reusing and recycling textiles here in Canada,” said Ian Freedman, President, Joe Fresh. “Through this research partnership with George Brown College, our hope is that we can find innovative solutions to better enable a more sustainable, closed-loop system for the entire industry.”

The George Brown College Fashion Exchange (FX) aims to model and foster innovative, ethical, environmentally and socially sustainable production. It’s a vibrant hub where fashion education, design, production, research and engagement converge under one roof. FX brings together fashion educators, industry partners, community organizations and fashion graduates to innovate for an increasingly sustainable, socially-conscious and economically vibrant fashion industry.

In addition, FX undertakes applied research projects as part of their research mandate. The FX Leading through Innovation in Fashion Technologies (FX LIFT) research program enables local companies to access the expertise and creativity of fashion faculty and students to help resolve their fashion challenges.

“Fashion research through FX LIFT allows Canadian apparel businesses to overcome technical, systemic, design and manufacturing challenges at all stages of the product lifecycle chain, including post consumer textile waste,” says Marilyn McNeil-Morin, Director Fashion Exchange. “Our research program supports industry leaders like Joe Fresh in their effort to strengthen the overall social and environmental impact of their fashion. We look forward to working with them to make Canadian clothing a more sustainable choice for consumers."

The partnership between the George Brown College Fashion Exchange and Joe Fresh will support a closed-loop apparel manufacturing system, while contributing to sustainable development and provide a model for innovation.

About Joe Fresh

Essential Style. Exceptional Value. Founded in 2006, Joe Fresh offers accessible, modern design in lifestyle collections for women, men and children. Today one of Canada's leading fashion retailers, Joe Fresh brings a contemporary point of view to everyday wardrobe favourites full of colour, polish and thoughtful details. In categories spanning apparel, accessories, footwear and beauty, Joe Fresh provides quality and style for the entire family. In Canada, Joe Fresh products are available in more than 1,450 retail locations; including over 350 Loblaw locations, 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, 11 freestanding Joe Fresh stores and Joe Fresh is also available internationally through local partners in the Philippines and the United States. For more information, please visit

About George Brown College

Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core. George Brown offers 167 full-time programs and 191 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of over 30,000 (full-time enrolment) students, including 23 per cent international students; and over 68,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.


For more information, please contact:

Rima Kar
External Communications Specialist, George Brown College
Office: (416) 415-5000 ext. 4791

External Contact

Lisa Steele
Senior Manager, Integrated Communications, Joe Fresh
Office: (416) 516-5233 x517181