H&M debuts in-store garment recycling system

H&M has revealed plans for a new garment-to-garment recycling system called Looop.

It will open to the public in the fashion retailer's Stockholm flagship on 12 October, marking the first time such a system has been shown in store.

The move is part of H&M's ambition to become fully circular and 'climate positive', which includes using innovate materials and processes while inspiring customers to keep their garments in use for as long as possible.

By 2030, the company aims for all its materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way, a figure that for 2019 was at 57 per cent.

“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," said Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M. "Getting customers on board is key to achieve real change and we are so excited to see what Looop will inspire."

Looop uses a technique that dissembles and assembles old garments into new ones. The garments are cleaned, shredded into fibres and spun into new yarn which is then knitted into new clothes.

Some sustainably sourced 'virgin materials' need to be added during the process, but the system uses no water and no chemicals, meaning a significantly lower environmental impact than when producing garments from scratch.

For 100 Swedish kronor, members of H&M's loyalty club can use Looop to transform their old garment into a new favourite. For non-members the fee is 150 Swedish kronor. All proceeds go to projects related to research on materials.

Looop was created by the non-profit H&M Foundation, together with research partner The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and Hong Kong-based yarn spinner Novetex Textiles.

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