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H&M to be first retailer to use recycled material Circulose

By Huw Hughes

13 Feb 2020

H&M Group has said it is to become the first retailer to use Circulose, a newly patented material made from discarded textiles, in a dress in its upcoming Conscious Exclusive collection - marking the first time chemically recycled fibres are used in garments sold at scale.

The material has been pioneered and produced by re:newcell, a company H&M Group has supported since its launch, and one which it invested in back in 2017 to accelerate their partnership.

The Swedish retail giant describes the new fibre as “unique and revolutionary” as it replaces forest raw material in commercial quantities, reportedly without compromising on quality. The fashion item in the Conscious Exclusive collection is a dress made up of 50 percent Circulose from recycled jeans and 50 percent viscose from FSC-certified wood. It will go on sale globally in the spring.

“The process of recycling cotton and viscose fibres contributes to a circular way of producing fashion, also because the process uses a closed-loop system for water and chemicals powered by renewable energy,” H&M Group said.

Erik Karlsson, investment manager for sustainable fashion at H&M Group’s investment arm CO:LAB, said in a statement: “We’re very proud of our collaboration with re:newcell, as their work perfectly aligns with our vision to become fully circular. We’ve been supporting them from the start, and now we’re excited to soon launch the very first garment made of Circulose.”

Patrik Lundström, CEO of re:newcell, said: “This is a major milestone for the industry. For the first time, people will be able to walk into a store and buy clothes made from Circulose. We are immensely proud to do this in partnership with H&M Group, a company with a bold sustainability agenda. Together, we have proven that textile-to-textile recycling at scale works.”

Photo credit: H&M Group