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H&M & Ikea join hands for study on recycled textiles

Oct '19
Pic: H&M
Pic: H&M
H&M & Ikea have announced a collaboration for a large-scale study, reviewing chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling during the recently held 2019 Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference. Increased utilisation of recycled materials in products is one of the key elements in H&M’s ambition to become 100 per cent circular and renewable.

H&M is working strategically to reach its sustainability ambitions, using science and partnerships to help lead the change towards a circular and climate positive fashion industry. The chemical content of collected pre-owned textiles are unknown, so to ensure the safe reuse of materials in the circular system, we must ensure good chemical management. A large-scale study looking at chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling, conducted between H&M and Ikea, has therefore been underway since May 2018, according to a press release by H&M.

“Recycled materials are key elements in a circular economy. However, increasing the use of recycled materials whilst ensuring that we keep these textiles free of toxic chemicals presents a challenge for the industry. We’re pleased to announce that H&M and Ikea have joined forces in a study to address this challenge,” Anna Biverstål, global business expert on materials at H&M said.

The yearly Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference gathers companies and organisations from more than 25 countries, and provides the perfect setting to present the joint efforts made to address this challenge. Anna Biverstål and Nils Månsson, materials and innovation deployment manager at Ikea range and supply, presented the study and shared some initial findings with the industry.

With over 8,000 tests conducted on collected recyclable textiles, H&M and Ikea will have better possibilities to develop an action plan for the use of recycled textiles, while meeting our strict safety standards. The ambition for the study is also to use the findings to encourage industry peers towards increased use of recycled textiles. The results gathered could potentially also serve as a base for further legislation and standardisation regarding chemicals in recycled textiles.

The initial focus for the study has been post-consumer cotton, with polyester and wool rich post-consumer textiles to be included as the study progresses. Collaborations and data sharing within and across industries is key to enable real, positive change. This joint study between H&M and Ikea serves as a great example of this approach.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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January 2022

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