H&M Foundation with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has demonstrated the new concept of innovative Closed-Loop Apparel Recycling Eco-System in the Swedish Pavilion of DesignInspire 2017. The international exhibition is an inspiring platform for design brands, design associations and institutes to showcase their creativity. From global garment collecting initiative to new ways of textile recycling, H&M Foundation aims to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas.

“The new eco-system aims to investigate at least one ready technology to recycle clothes made from blend textiles into new fibres and yarns. The project has successfully developed a hydrothermal (chemical) process and a biological process to fully separate and recycle cotton and polyester blends. The recovered polyester material can be reused directly, without any quality loss. This is a major breakthrough in the journey towards a closed loop for textiles. The technology will be scaled up and tested further to prove commercial viability. When finalised, the technology will be licensed widely through HKRITA to ensure broad market access and maximum impact. It will benefit the environment as well as people and communities,” H&M Foundation said in a report.

H&M Foundation supported by the Global Garment Collecting Program, initiated the four-year partnership project with HKRITA in September 2016. The contribution of €5.8 mn by H&M Foundation and additional funding from the Innovative and Technology Fund of Hong Kong SAR Government will help to spearhead a series of research.