Friday, 10 April 2015

Worn Again: Closing The Circle

The march towards closing the loop on fabric recycling has just taken a giant step forward, as two big names in fashion team up.
H&M, the world's second largest fashion retailer, has joined forces with Kering, the French luxury brand conglomerate who has taken an increasingly ethical stance over the past few months, to announce their part in a new initiative. They're supporting Worn Again, a UK-based company who have found a way to seperate polyester and fabric from garments, enabling them to be fully recycled.
The trouble with a lot of modern clothing is its complexity. They often contain blends of natural and artificial fabrics, like the bit of lycra in stretch jeans for example. These so-called "frankenfabrics" are almost impossible to strip apart, making a lot of the clothes we wear unsuitable for recycling in the truest sense of the word: breaking them down and making new garments from the base materials.

Worn Again have cracked that problem. The 'circular resource' model they have perfected has, for the first time, made this costly process much cheaper and easier to implement. They can not only seperate polyester from cotton, but they can also remove dyes and contaminants. The end result: clean fibres that can be respun and reintroduced into the supply chain. Anna Gedda, H&M’s head of sustainability, says of the project:
"In the long run, this can change the way fashion is made and massively reduce the need for extracting virgin resources from our planet. Furthermore, it brings us closer to our goal of creating fashion in a circular model."
Worn Again is vitally important for both H&M and Kering, providing them with a cheap and sustainable source of raw materials. This lessens the impact on virgin resources, which is nothing but a good thing. It's early days for the new initiative, but rest assured we'll all be watching the results with interest.

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