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Circular Systems, Nishat Mills to Scale Regenerative Textiles

Circular Systems is scaling up textile innovation in South Asia.

The Seattle-based material-science firm announced Wednesday a global licensing agreement with Pakistan’s Nishat Mills to increase production of its Texloop RCOT Primo recycled cotton and Agraloop BioFibre yarns, better meeting the demand of fashion brands such as Bestseller and H&M.

The partnership is a first for Circular Systems, which uses regenerative closed-loop technologies to transform textile and agricultural waste into fiber, yarn and fabrics that require less water and energy and emit fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than their conventional counterparts.

“Circular Systems’ partnership with Nishat Mills presents a significant opportunity to provide Texloop RCOT Primo and Agraloop BioFibre to major retailers that previously had limited access to the materials required to create truly sustainable collections,” Isaac Nichelson, CEO and co-founder of Circular Systems, said in a statement. “We’re excited to introduce our brands to a new market and work with Nishat Mills to expand access to low-impact yarns and materials in the South Asia region. Together, we’ll advance the circular economy and continue our work to reduce environmental harms in the textile industry.”

Some of Circular Systems’ largest customers—H&M included—are already working with Nishat Mills, one of the largest vertically integrated textile companies in Pakistan with 70 years of experience, making the collaboration a natural fit. Circular Systems will be leveraging Nishat Mills’ “robust network” of relationships to level up production, expand its reach in the region and streamline its ability to tackle repeat orders at competitive prices, Nichelson added.

Clothing brands and retailers, feeling increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, are clamoring for low-impact solutions that can achieve scale without the hefty price tag. Circular Systems said it and Nishat Mills will address this need by delivering innovative sustainable solutions at the beginning of the textile-making process.

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“Nishat Mills has a legacy of providing top-quality textiles and garments to our customers across the world,” said Maqsood Ahmad, executive director of Nishat Mills. “In this new chapter, we’re thrilled to partner with Circular Systems to introduce circularity to our processes and welcome this partnership as we embrace a more sustainable approach to our production.”

The news comes on the heels of a Global Fashion Agenda and McKinsey & Company report that said increasing investments in recycling technologies and infrastructures could help the sector hit 80 percent circularity by 2030—a critical target for achieving climate goals.

“The fashion industry will not be able to deliver on the Paris Agreement’s objectives without fully embracing circularity,” Peder Michael Pruzan-Jorgensen, interim chief impact officer at Global Fashion Agenda, said last month. “It is needed to get on a 1.5-degree pathway. It’s also necessary for a variety of reasons, including protecting biodiversity, reducing pollution, protecting water resources, and also to ensure a more equitable distribution of value creation.”