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Syre launches to decarbonise textiles industry

H&M backed company will provide textile-to-textile circular polyester, equal in quality to virgin polyester with superior sustainability performance.

6th March 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Stockholm, Sweden

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Initiated by Vargas and H&M Group, Stockholm based Syre has launched with a mission to decarbonise and dewaste the textiles industry through textile-to-textile recycling at hyperscale, starting with polyester.

Supported by an industry ground-breaking offtake supply agreement with H&M Group, Syre will establish multiple production plants producing circular polyester across the globe, reducing CO2e emissions by up to 85% compared to the production of oil-based virgin polyester.

“Syre marks the start of the great textile shift. We envision a world where every textile fibre sees a new day. By implementing true textile-to-textile recycling at hyperscale, we want to drive the transition from a linear to a circular value chain by putting textile waste to use, over and over again,” says Dennis Nobelius, CEO of Syre.

Textile waste is a growing global challenge, with less than 1% of the global textile fibre market coming from recycled textiles, Syre says. The textiles industry today accounts for 7-10% of global CO2e emissions, with polyester being the biggest emitter and fastest growing fibre, it adds. Virgin polyester, made from crude oil in refineries, and bottle-to-fibre recycled polyester (rPET), are both linear meaning the majority of all end-of-life products currently end up in landfills or being incinerated.

The textiles industry is now at a tipping point as the European Union and other actors are introducing legislation that will regulate waste and accelerate demand for circular materials.

“Having been creating and scaling companies that enable the green transition for an entire industry, I am extremely excited to be part of founding Syre. 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”, says Susanna Campbell, Chair of the board and co-founder of Syre.

Syre was founded by H&M Group, the global fashion and design company, and Vargas, which has a proven track-record of building impact companies such as Northvolt, H2 Green Steel and Aira. In addition to this, TPG Rise Climate, the dedicated climate investing strategy of global alternative asset manager TPG, has joined as a founding investor with a substantial investment, bringing extensive experience scaling climate solutions globally and in companies focused on the circular economy.

H&M Group has secured an offtake agreement with Syre worth a total of USD 600 million over 7 years, covering a significant share of H&M Group’s long-term need for recycled polyester, which is currently primarily sourced from bottle-to-fibre (rPET).

"The new venture Syre is an important next step on H&M Group’s journey to integrate circularity across our business. 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”, says Daniel Ervér, CEO of H&M Group.

Syre says it will provide textile-to-textile circular polyester (cPET), with quality on par with oil-based virgin polyester and with a superior sustainability performance, reducing CO2e emissions by up to 85%. Its first production plant is being built in North Carolina, USA, and will be operational during 2024. Based on this blueprint, the manufacturing process will be rapidly scaled for global expansion, starting with Asia and Europe. Within ten years, Syre aspires to have 12 gigascale plants up and running at full speed and capacity worldwide, producing more than 3 million metric tons (MT) of circular polyester. The platform is said to be agnostic and could expand into other fibres and technologies in the future.

In connection to the launch, Syre calls out for collaboration and partnerships across industries and the full value chain in order to jointly drive the textile shift and enable a healthy future of textiles.

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