H&M to unveil new clothing recycling technology

Marianne Wilson
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H&M is set to debut a new garment-to-garment recycling system and is giving customers an upfront look at how it works.

The Swedish fast-fashion giant will offer customers the opportunity to watch as their unwanted pieces of clothing are transformed into new fashion items via its new garment-to-garment recycling system, called 'Looop'. The machinery used in the transformation will make its debut on Oct. 12, in an H&M store in Stockholm.  

“We 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,” H&M stated. “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.”

Looop uses a technique that dissembles and assembles old garments into new ones. The garments are cleaned, shredded into fibers 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.) The system uses no water and no chemicals, providing for a significantly lower environmental impact than when producing garments from scratch.

H&M has set a goal to have all of its materials be recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way by 2030.

"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.”