Renewcell & H&M join hands for recycling fashion products
Renewcell, a Swedish textile recycling innovator, and H&M have entered a multi-year partnership to replace virgin fibres with recycled textiles in fashion products. Building on the successful introduction of Circulose in the SS2020 Conscious Exclusive collection, H&M have committed to scale up the use of the material over the course of five years.
The agreement, which was reached in September 2020, is the first of its kind in the industry and marks a significant step forward in the development of a circular economy for fashion.
Renewcell and H&M have cooperated in different ways since the founding of Renewcell in 2012. From acting as a sounding board for the concept of industrial scale textile recycling to investing in the company in 2017, H&M has been a key partner supporting Renewcell’s growth. While the agreement, which was reached in September 2020, does not have a significant direct financial impact for Renewcell, it does establish a strong indirect value chain pull for its circular product, according to Renewcell.
Under the agreement, Renewcell will supply H&M with virgin quality Circulose fibres recycled from unusable textile waste at its new recycling plant in Sundsvall, Sweden, ramping up the annual volume over a period of five years. The material will be used by H&M to replace virgin fibres from wood or cotton in garments. Subject to closing of the ongoing financing for the project, Renewcell plans to start building the new plant in 2021 and make first deliveries starting in the first half of 2022.
Circulose is a branded dissolving pulp product produced from 100 per cent recycled textiles. Renewcell’s customers use Circulose as a raw material to produce natural biodegradable textile fibres like viscose and lyocell. By replacing virgin textile fibres like cotton with fibres produced from Circulose, fashion brands can reduce the climate and environmental impact caused by raw material extraction and fashion waste generation significantly.
“With this agreement, we prove that Circulose is a viable commercial product that can make a difference at a scale that matters. We are proud to have taken the next step in our long relationship with H&M, a global industry leader that once again puts its words into action to change fashion. 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,” Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell said.
“In continuing our long-term partnership with Renewcell, this agreement is an important milestone not only for H&M, 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 embrace using materials such as Circulose and ensure they are a core part of our material portfolio going forward,” Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M said.