Syre is founded by H&M Group and Vargas, with TPG Rise Climate joining as a founding investor. H&M Group has secured an offtake agreement with Syre worth $600m over seven years, covering a substantial share of the retailer’s long-term need for recycled polyester, currently primarily sourced from circular polyester (rPET).

Syre plans to set up multiple production plants generating textile-to-textile circular polyester worldwide, boasting quality on par with oil-based virgin polyester and superior sustainability performance, reducing CO2e emissions by up to 85%.

The first production plant is underway in North Carolina, USA, with plans for global expansion in Asia and Europe within the next decade.

H&M Group’s CEO Daniel Ervér explained that Syre was an important step on the retailer’s journey to integrating circularity across its business. He added: “With this solution to rapidly scale textile-to-textile recycling, we want to continue to drive and inspire more industry players to join us in closing the loop and accelerating the shift towards a more sustainable future.”

The textile industry faces a pressing global challenge with less than 1% of the global textile fibre market originating from recycled textiles. The industry accounts for 7-10% of global CO2e emissions, with polyester emerging as the largest emitter and fastest-growing fibre.

Currently, both virgin polyester, derived from crude oil in refineries, and bottle-to-fibre recycled polyester (rPET), follow a linear trajectory, with the majority of end-of-life products ending up in landfills or incinerators.

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“By implementing true textile-to-textile recycling at hyper-scale, we want to drive the transition from a linear to a circular value chain by putting textile waste to use, over and over again,” said Dennis Nobelius, CEO of Syre.

In light of the launch, Syre calls for collaboration and partnerships across industries and the entire value chain to jointly drive the textile shift and enable a healthier future.

Susanna Campbell, chair of the board and co-founder of Syre commented: “As a plug-and-play solution into the existing textile value chain, Syre will be key in enabling delivery on ambitious sustainability targets for all polyester intense industries such as apparel, automotive, and home interior.”

Syre aspires to have 12 gigascale plants fully operational worldwide within the next decade, producing over 3 million metric tons (MT) of circular polyester. The platform is adaptable and could potentially expand into other fibres and technologies in the future.

In February, H&M Group announced it was testing a new “waterless” dyeing alternative by Indian start-up Deven Supercriticals at its partner factory Arvind Ltd to reduce energy, water and chemical use during the dyeing process.