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Fabric Spotlight: Recover [Founder Interview]

An interview with the founder of Recover -a textile recycler and yarn spinner based in the south east of Spain.

16 January 2019

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Written by Flora Davidson, Co-Founder of Supplycompass. Supplycompass is a sourcing platform that enables brands and manufacturers to find each other and work better together. Through the Supplycompass platform, brands get matched with a manufacturer, receive cost estimates, create tech packs, request samples and manage production all from one dashboard. Supplycompass is harnessing the power of tech to bring greater trust, transparency and collaboration to global supply chains.



Supplier spotlight

Supplycompass interview with Hélène Smits from Spanish recycled yarn producer, Recover 



 [Supplycompass] What is Recover ? 

[Recover]  Recover is a textile recycler and yarn spinner based in the south east of Spain. The name of the company is actually Hilaturas Ferre, named after the founding family. Recover is the brand name that was designed to represent better the nature of the recycled yarn products the company makes.




[Supplycompass]  When did Recover start recycling yarns? 

[Recover]  Company was founded in 1947 and Ferre family started recycling already then. First more rudimentary and they perfected this process over the last 70 years. It was something they did out of necessity because resources were scarce and expensive in these times.



[Supplycompass] When did you join Recover?

[Recover] I joined 3 years ago. I work in sustainable / circular textiles and was amazed by what Recover was doing and it is great to be a part of that! I couldn't believe that the quality of recycled cotton yarns could be so good and wanted to help spread the word and help this sustainable fibre gain traction with major brands around the world.




[Supplycompass] What are your key yarns?

[Recover] Recover Blue is one of the iconic yarns of Recover. It is 100% recycled – combining recycled cotton and RPET. It is very versatile and can be used for light and heavy weight wovens, t-shirts, socks, fleece and so on. We also have a new product which is Recover Earth, This is combining recycled and organic cotton. It is a yarn designed specially for those brands that want to use recycled cotton but do not want to blend with synthetic fibres.



[Supplycompass] What is the process of recycling yarns?

[Recover] would suggest to watch the video on the website which is always better at showing the process than me explaining in words. The process is mechanical and goes from shredding to blending to carding and spinning. Recover Recycling is happening in-house and is optimised to keep the fibre as long as possible. Another special aspect of Recover is that we do not dye the recycled cotton fibres. We take the colour already inside the textile waste and are able to blend with dyed carrier fibres to make almost any colour possible. We can create and recreate colours with the same accuracy as a dye house.



[Supplycompass] How does the environmental impact of Recover yarns compare to conventional / non recycled versions?

[Recover] We performed an LCA together with the University of Valencia which was also published. It shows you can save up to 15.000 litres of water using 1 kg of recover fibre compared to 1 kg of conventional dyed cotton fibre. Also on other aspects like climate change impact and pollutants Recover scores better. You can see this also reflected in the Material Sustainability Index score. To check this you can watch the Higg video at


[Supplycompass] What products can you make using your yarns?

[Recover] From socks and blankets to denim and canvas shoes to sweatshirts, T-shirts, dresses, heavy knitted sweaters but also upholstery. There are only few product applications that cannot be achieved with recycled cotton yarns. 



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