H&M Group reveals garment collecting initiative a decade after its first recycling venture
H&M Group and Remondis have established a co-owned company to collect, sort and sell used and unwanted garments and textiles.
The company, called 'Looper Textile Co.', aims to become a preferred feedstock provider to businesses taking part in textile resale and recycling. The company will begin operating in Europe and aims to extend the life of approximately 40 million garments by the end of 2023.
Emily Bolon, CEO of Looper Textile Co., commented: "We are excited to announce the launch of Looper Textile Co. Used and unwanted garments must first be collected and sorted into different streams, such as by type of material or garment, in order to be reused or recycled.
"Today, less than 40% of used clothes are collected in the EU. Consequently, 60% of post-consumer textiles go directly to waste. By building infrastructure and solutions for collection and sorting, we hope to move one step closer toward enabling circularity, thereby minimizing the CO²-impact and improving resource efficiency."
Looper plans to innovate within textile collection and sorting. For example, it will test new collection schemes and implement automated sorting technologies such as near-infrared sorting, as well as developing an assortment of partners in the areas of reuse and recycling.
Marc Schubert, COO of Looper Textile Co., added: "H&M Group was the first fashion company to launch a garment collecting initiative worldwide in 2013 and has, through its investment arm H&M CO:LAB, invested in companies that develop technologies to enable textile recycling.
"With the creation of this standalone joint venture, H&M Group is participating more directly in developing the infrastructure that is necessary to close the loop of fashion. Remondis is a long-standing leader in waste management, with invaluable know-how in providing collection and sorting solutions at scale.
"We are convinced that the textile loop, due to its very high complexity, can only be closed with trusting, innovative and like-minded partners along the value chain and are pleased to have found the synergy between H&M Group and Remondis."
This follows the news that H&M Group group sales were up 12% to £17.6 billion in FY22 (from 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022), despite a turbulent economic backdrop.