H&M, Kering and innovation company Worn Again join forces to make the continual recycling of textiles a sustainable reality
After years of searching for a solution to the worldwide problem of textile waste, pioneering start-up Worn Again joins forces with fashion retailer H&M, and luxury, sport & lifestyle Group, Kering, to bring to market a revolutionary innovation in clothing production and recycling.
In 2014, the global production of polyester filament and cotton fibre was approximately 65 million tonnes. In 2020, the global demand for these fibres is estimated to be 90 million tonnes.To address this, and the growing issue of clothes-to-landfill, Worn Again’s textile-to-textile chemical recycling technology is the first of its kind able 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.
This new technology addresses major barriers in textile-to-textile recycling, namely: how to separate blended fibre garments; and how to separate dyes and other contaminants from polyester and cellulose.
Announced today, Worn Again’s technology is entering the next phase of development tests. Forward-thinking global companies H&M and Kering, via its brand PUMA, will be monitoring the testing of this technology. By converting the reclaimed raw materials into yarn, developing fabric and creating garments, these tests will aim to demonstrate that the technology may be commercially viable, and may be able to provide an effective solution for the circular recycling of clothes and textiles.
The joint partnership is catalysing innovation in the apparel sector by presenting a solution to replace the use of polyester derived from oil, a non-renewable resource, and with the hope of providing a new and low impact source of raw materials for cellulosic fibres and fabrics.
“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”, said Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M.
“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”, said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional affairs at Kering.
Cyndi Rhoades, CEO of Worn Again, said, “Our technology is at the heart of a global vision which will engage all brands, textile recyclers, suppliers and consumers, in a unified ambition to keep clothing already in circulation out of landfill, and as part of a global pool of resources to be used time and time again.”
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947. The H&M Group has around 3,500 stores in 57 markets. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. To us, quality includes that all our operations should be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. By making more sustainable choices available to all our customers around the world, we can together contribute to a more sustainable fashion future.
A world leader in apparel and accessories, Kering develops an ensemble of powerful Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Pomellato, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn. By ‘empowering imagination’ in the fullest sense, Kering encourages its brands to reach their potential, in the most sustainable manner. Present in more than 120 countries, the Group generated revenues of €10 billion in 2014 and had more than 37,000 employees at year end. The Kering (previously PPR) share is listed on Euronext Paris (FR 0000121485, KER.PA, KER.FP).
About Worn Again
Worn Again is a UK based innovation business with a radical vision to eradicate textile waste from the global apparel and textile industry with technology designed as part of a circular resource model. Established in 2005 in East London, Worn Again began as a Business to Consumer ‘upcycling’ company, turning textile waste into new products of higher value. From 2007 to present, WA evolved into a Business to Business consultancy and went on to work with large brands on a series of groundbreaking products and zero textile waste projects, including Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar, Royal Mail, Virgin Balloon Flights, Marks & Spencer, National Grid and McDonald’s.
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