Swedish fashion chain H&M and luxury conglomerate Kering are teaming up with British up-cycler Worn Again to tackle the fashion industries rising demand for polyester filament and cotton fibre textiles with the trial of Worn Again’s textile chemical recycling technology.
In 2014, the fashion industry used more than 65 million tonnes of polyester filament and cotton fibre, and this is set to grow to an estimated 90 million tonnes by 2020, and the partnership between the three firms is to help reduce the need for extracting resources from the planet as well as to address the growing issue of clothes-to-landfill.
According to Worn Again its new textile-to-textile chemical recycling technology is the first of its kind to separate and extract polyester and cotton from old or end-of-use clothing and textiles. Once separated, the aim is for this unique process to enable the ‘recaptured’ polyester and cellulose from cotton to be spun into new fabric creating a ‘circular resource model’ for textiles.
H&M and Kering, via its sportswear brand Puma, have partnered with the British start-up to help test the commercial viability of its recycling model. Both companies will be converting the reclaimed raw materials into yarn, developing fabric and creating garments, to demonstrate that the technology may be commercially viable, and will provide an effective solution for the circular recycling of clothes and textiles.
Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M, said: “We are excited to be part of this project together with Kering and Worn Again. In the long-run this can change the way fashion is made and massively reduce the need for extracting virgin resources from our planet. Furthermore, it brings us closer to our goal of creating fashion in a circular model.”
Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering, added: “Innovation is what we need to solve our global environmental challenges. Our collaboration with H&M and Worn Again is a great example of this, demonstrating how we can design and deliver a solution that will be fundamental in eradicating textile waste while simultaneously offering a new type of sustainable raw material for our Sport & Lifestyle brands.”