H&M were thrilled last week to announce that they will soon be able to offer customers in Sweden the possibility to transform unwanted garments into new fashion favourites with the help from our new garment-to-garment recycling system ‘Looop’. H&M are committed to closing the loop on fashion and this machine visualizes to customers that old textiles hold a value and should never go to waste.
Looop opens to the public in one of their Drottninggatan stores from the Stockholm on October 12. This is the first time this garment-to-garment recycling system is shown in store by a fashion retailer and H&M is proud to soon offer customers the opportunity to watch this container-sized machine recycle their old textiles into something new, such as a new sweater or scarf on the spot
The textile industry is one of the most polluting, something fashion giants are under increasing pressure to address as shoppers become more aware of the environmental impact of clothes production and as new regulations come into place and tighten. Being able to find viable and sustainable solutions to recycle textiles into new products without a loss in quality, handle or appearance is key to reducing our reliance on producing new virgin materials.
Brands are starting to release that consumers are paying attention and becoming more aware of their own footprints, as well as the retailers that they buy from. Brands are looking for new ways to engage and new user experiences that help take the customer on a sustainability journey by adding a new meaning of value to the products they purchase. The purpose of the Looop system is to inspire their customers to keep their garments as long as possible but also to make them understand that their old garments have a value in recycling.
This is part of a bigger plan - their ambition is to become fully circular and climate positive and are working with many exciting projects to reach this goal. They are aware that they must innovate materials and processes while inspiring customers to keep their garments in use for as long as possible.
“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,”
says Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M.
Looop uses a technique that dissembles and assembles old garments into new ones, which we featured in our editorial two years ago, when we flew to Hong Kong to see the unveiling of HKRITA's garment-to-garment unit at The Mills in Tsuen Wan. The garments are cleaned, shredded into fibres and spun into new yarn which is then knitted into new fashion finds. Some sustainably sourced virgin materials need to be added during the process, and H&M of course work to make this percentage as small as possible. The system uses no water and no chemicals, thus having a significantly lower environmental impact than when producing garments from scratch.
H&M wants to lead the change towards a sustainable fashion industry. In 2013 they became the first fashion retailer with a global garment collecting program. Now, they are taking the next step with their garment-to-garment recycling system Looop. For 100 Swedish kronor, members of their 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. By 2030 they aim for all their materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way, a figure that for 2019 was at 57%.
Looop is created by the non-profit H&M Foundation, together with research partner HKRITA (The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel) and Hong Kong-based yarn spinner Novetex Textiles.
For more information on how Looop works check out: https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/life/culture/inside-h-m/meet-the-machine-turning-old-into-new.html