Latin America


Macul, Chile

Latin America Accelerator
in partnership with NESsT  


Ecocitex is a social enterprise that sells 100% recycled textile products through more than 250 women-led businesses across Chile

Textile waste is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions in addition to releasing half a million tons of microfibres into the ocean every year (European Parliament, 2021). Ecocitex is a social enterprise that wants to tackle this issue by recycling donated textiles and textile waste into new materials, employing women and low-income communities across Chile to do so.

Ecocitex sells 100% recycled textile products through more than 250 women-led businesses across Chile. The social enterprise oversees an extensive production chain that involves anyone with access to clothing in the circular economy. Ecocitex’s recycling process extends textile lifetimes to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Every week, Ecocitex sources and processes approximately 1 ton of donated textiles and textile waste, converting it into new materials, such as upcycled textile yarn, and transporting them directly to new clients. The enterprise also donates garments to vulnerable communities with limited access to clothing. During the pandemic, the enterprise donated more than 1,000 wool caps to homeless people living on the streets.

In addition to providing unique products for these micro and small distributors to sell, Ecocitex trains and employs formerly incarcerated women in its production facility, ensuring access to technical roles that have been historically reserved for men. They are committed to the personal development of its employees by offering them wellness benefits in partnership with social workers and psychologists that can help with rehabilitation from traumatic life experiences.

Ecocitex partnered with NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship to increase its production capacity while also sustaining the services that it provides to its employees and vulnerable people in its communities.

Programme support:

NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship invested in Ecocitext to support the enterprise in employing more women and low-income communities to reach its ability to process 110 tons of textile waste per year. To fully realize this business expansion, Ecocitex will be aided to train personnel in the manufacturing process, establish operating protocols, design interactive manuals for the use and maintenance of machines, and implement employee training guidelines.