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H&M, PUMA Partner with Worn Again on Textile Recycling Program

Fast fashion clothier H&M and athletic apparel group Kering (via its PUMA brand), said Tuesday they will be working with Worn Again, a chemical textile to textile recycling technology developer, to help create a sustainable chain for textiles.

To address the growing issue of clothes-to-landfill, Worn Again is able to separate and extract polyester and cotton from old or end-of-use clothing and textiles. The idea is that once the fabrics are separated, the polyester and cellulose from cotton will be used to create new fabric, producing a completely sustainable model.

“We are excited to be part of this project together with Kering and Worn Again,” said Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M. “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.”

H&M and Kering will monitor Worn Again’s next phase of development tests involving converting reclaimed raw materials into yarn for fabrics and garments. The tests aim to prove that the technology is commercially viable and may even provide an effective solution for recycling textiles and clothing.

“Innovation is what we need to solve our global environmental challenges,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering. “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.”

According to H&M, the partnership helps promote innovation in the apparel industry by presenting a more sustainable solution for the use of polyester derived from oil — a non-renewable resource — with the hope of finding a new, low impact source of raw materials for cellulosic fibers.

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.”