Dempstah is a collaboration between Sydney design duo Guy Dempster and Otis Ng, and the Billie System– an innovative new textile recycling mill in Hong Kong.

Combining automated technology and resource–lite design, the system reconstitutes textile waste fibres to be spun into new yarn– all without the use of any water, dye, bleach, detergent or liquid chemicals.

1 COLLECT

First, Dempstah collects recyclable textile waste from businesses and charities around NSW.

This includes both pre–consumer materials (e.g. scrap or offcut fabric from a factory) and post–consumer items (e.g. unsellable, worn clothing and homewares from an op–shop).

2 SANITISE

Upon being received by The Billie, recyclables are sterilised in an Ozone gas sanitisation system.

Ozone (03) is a synthetic gas made on–site by electrifying Oxygen atoms. Once used it is converted back into regular Oxygen and can be safely released into the air outside.

3 SORT

Next, recyclables are sorted by colour using an automated optical hue detection machine.

By strategically sorting and grouping recyclable items based on their existing hue, we're able to create unique yarn colourways without having to bleach or dye anything.

4 GARNETT

Recyclables are stripped of all rigid hardware and then fed into a garnetting machine.

Rigid hardware includes buttons, zippers and embellishments, while garnetting describes the process of churning, grinding and shredding the textiles down to a fibrous 'waste fleece'.

5 COMB

The garnetted fibres pass through a fine combing machine before being slivered.

Combing detangles, separates and aligns garnetted fibres, while extracting any that are too short or brittle to be spun. Fibres are then twisted into a thick, rope–like bundle called a 'sliver'.

6 SPIN

Lastly, slivered fibres are relayed to a spinning mill to be blended, spun and plied into yarn.

This spinning mill is in Nanshui, Zhuhai– about 80km West of Hong Kong, in Guangdong Province, mainland China– and is operated by The Billie's parent company, Novetex Textiles Limited.

1 COLLECT

First, Dempstah collects recyclable textile waste from businesses and charities around NSW.

This includes both pre–consumer materials (e.g. scrap or offcut fabrics from a factory) and post–consumer items (e.g. unsellable, worn clothing and homewares from an op–shop).

2 SANITISE

Upon being received by The Billie, recyclables are sterilised in an Ozone gas sanitisation system.

Ozone (03) is a synthetic gas made on–site by electrifying Oxygen atoms. Once used it is converted back into regular Oxygen and can be safely released into the air outside.

3 SORT

Next, recyclables are sorted by colour using an automated optical hue detection machine.

By strategically sorting and grouping recyclable items based on their existing hue, we're able to create unique yarn colourways without having to bleach or dye anything.

4 GARNETT

Recyclables are stripped of all rigid hardware and then fed into a garnetting machine.

Rigid hardware includes buttons, zippers and embellishments, while garnetting describes the process of churning, grinding and shredding the textiles down to a fibrous 'waste fleece'.

5 COMB

The garnetted fibres pass through a fine combing machine before being slivered.

Combing detangles, separates and aligns garnetted fibres, while extracting any that are too short or brittle to be spun. Fibres are then twisted into a thick, rope–like bundle called a 'sliver'.

6 SPIN

Lastly, slivered fibres are relayed to a spinning mill to be blended, spun and plied into yarn.

This spinning mill is in Nanshui, Zhuhai– about 80km West of Hong Kong, in Guangdong Province, mainland China– and is operated by The Billie's parent company, Novetex Textiles Limited.

This may all sound very modern, but the practice of fibre recycling can actually be traced back millennia.

First recorded around the time of the invention of paper in Han dynasty China (202 BC–220 AD), the practice wasn’t industrialised until the 19th Century, when a widespread shortage of virgin wool during the Napoleonic Wars prompted European mills to start garnetting old clothes and using the salvaged fibres to make new military uniforms.






We currently sell our yarns by the cake and kit– for modern makers and crafters– and by the cone, for boutique manufacturers.

We’re also developing our own range of readymade knitwear, knitted accessories and homewares– so stay tuned!






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