Swedish fashion group H&M has struck a multi-year agreement with Renewcell which will see the textile recycling company supply it with thousands of tonnes of its pioneering virgin quality Circulose fibres made from unusable textile waste.

H&M says the deal marks an important step toward achieving its goal of becoming fully circular whilst helping drive the sustainability agenda across the entire industry. 

One of the biggest barriers to replacing virgin fibres and using more sustainable materials is the availability of these materials at scale, it explains, adding agreements like this represent a “profound shift in making this a reality.”

Over a five-year period, Renewcell will provide the group with enough Circulose to produce what H&M describes as “millions” of garments across its brands.

“In continuing our long-term partnership with Renewcell, this agreement is an important milestone not only for H&M Group, but also for the wider industry in terms of having a circular product like theirs available at scale. To become fully circular and achieve our 2030 goal that all our materials should be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way, we need to ensure materials such as Circulose are a core part of our material portfolio going forward,” says Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M.

H&M Group has worked closely alongside Renewcell since its inception in 2012, and invested in the firm through its investment arm CO:LAB in 2017. H&M was also the first retailer to use Circulose when it debuted in its Conscious Exclusive collection in March 2020. The new agreement builds on this work and marks the next stage in the collaborative journey.

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“I believe that this kind of partnership will become a model for how fashion brands integrate innovations to reduce their negative impact on climate and the environment,” says Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell.

The H&M Group’s Monki brand recently launched the first capsule clothing collection made using a breakthrough textile-to-textile recycling process. 

Click here to learn why the technology – which is being scaled up before being made widely available to the apparel industry and its supply chain – is a huge step towards a closed-loop for clothing.