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Industry Talk

Circulose features in H&M Conscious Exclusive collection

Breakthrough material is recycled from used clothing

31st January 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Stockholm


H&M will become the first brand to retail a garment made from re:newcell’s breakthrough new material, Circulose. Launching worldwide on 26 March, H&M’s SS20 Conscious Exclusive will feature a jacquard weave day dress made from 50% Circulose recycled from used cotton jeans, and 50% FSC-certified wood. It will be the first time this kind of material becomes available for customers to buy in retail.

“This is a major milestone for fashion. For the first time, people will be able to walk into a store and buy clothes made from Circulose - likely the world’s most sustainable fashion material. We are immensely proud to introduce this innovation together with H&M Group, a company with a bold sustainability agenda,” says Patrik Lundström, CEO of re:newcell.

The day dress, which is an easy blue colour with feminine ruffles, will be available worldwide – sold in around 100 stores globally and online in all markets.

“Through its patented process, re:newcell transforms old clothes containing lots of cellulose (such as cotton and viscose) into Circulose -  a 100% natural, recyclable and biodegradable material that the fashion industry can make new clothes without compromising on quality,” the company said today.

“The process reduces fashion’s reliance on virgin cotton, oil and forests, uses less water, fewer chemicals, and removes 2 kg CO2e from the atmosphere per kg of textile fiber produced, compared to conventional textiles.”

Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy, an environmental not-for-profit working with companies to protect the world’s forests and species, commented: “This Circulose launch reflects the leadership that fashion companies can and need to take to avert the climate and biodiversity crises when sourcing wood-based fibers. In just a few years H&M Group, re:newcell and other investors, who have backed development of this circular textile production, have opened the door to a sustainable future. It’s a good day for our forests and climate.”

Re:newcell’s March launch with H&M is one of a string of collaborations with other global brands set to happen in 2020. The company intends to grow its recycling capacity rapidly, targeting 250 000 tons, equal to one billion garments, per year by 2025.

Founded by innovators from Stockholm’s KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) in 2012, re:newcell is a multi-award-winning sustainable fashion company based in Sweden. The company’s vision is to lead the way to a sustainable world by producing high quality products from recycled textiles.                      

Through its own patented process, re:newcell can upcycle cellulosic textile waste, such as cotton and viscose, transforming it into a “pristine new material” called Circulose. The company has raised more than $20m funding to date from investors including H&M, The Mills Fabrica and KappAhl and is regularly recognised for its work to make fashion sustainable. Most recently, re:newcell won the Norrsken Impact Award recognising Nordic startups working to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

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