Fashion retailer H&M is offering its customers in Sweden an opportunity to recycle their old clothes into new items via a garment-to-garment recycling initiative.
The garment recycling service is supported by ta newly-developed system ‘Looop’, which has been placed in one of H&M’s Drottninggatan stores in Stockholm. The arrival of the Looop recycling system in the shop represents the first time it has been placed in a fashion retailer.
H&M will soon offer customers the opportunity to watch the container-sized machine recycle their old textiles into something new.
Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M, commented: “We are constantly exploring new technology and innovations to help transform the fashion industry as we are working to reduce the dependency on virgin resources.
“Getting customers on board is key to achieve real change and we are so excited to see what Looop will inspire.”
What is Looop, and how does it work?
Looop was created by the non-profit H&M Foundation alongside research partner, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, and Hong Kong-based yarn spinner, Novetex Textiles.
Garments placed in the Looop system are cleaned, shredded into fibres, and spun into new yarn which is then knitted into new fashion.
Some virgin materials need to be added during the process, but H&M said it works to keep this to a minimum. The system uses no water and no chemicals, which H&M said is a more environmentally-friendly process than clothing manufactured from scratch.
It does not come for free. For 100 Swedish kronor, members of H&M’s loyalty club can use the garment recycling service to transform a pre-loved item into something new. For non-members, the fee is 150 Swedish kronor.
H&M is embarking on various green-focused projects, and it has committed to putting all proceeds from Looop towards initiatives related to materials research. By 2030 H&M aims for all its materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way – in 2019, this figure was 57%.
[Image credit: H&M]