Earlier this month, H&M announced that it was set to become the first retailer to sell Circulose-made clothing made from 100% up-cycled clothing and fashion waste. Retail giant H&M says its latest apparel made with Re: Newcell’s Circulose fabric would be the first time that environmentally treated cotton clothes are used in scale-selling garments.
It’s a new natural material made by gently recovering cotton from worn-out clothes. People that choose Circulose garments cut their waste, climate, water, microplastics and deforestation fashion footprint to almost zero. It uses discarded textiles and is able to “replace forest raw material, in commercial quantities, without compromising on the quality”.
And the whole process that recycles the cotton and viscose fibres adds further to the circularity of Circulose because it uses a closed loop system for water and chemicals powered by renewable energy. H&M’s Investment Manager for Sustainable Fashion at the group’s investment arm CO:LAB, Erik Karlsson, said re:newcell’s work “perfectly aligns with our vision to become fully circular”.
Although this is its first use at scale, it’s still fairly limited in that it’s found in a single dress in a single collection. That dress is made of a mix of 50% Circulose from recycled jeans and 50 per cent viscose from FSC-certified wood, and will go on sale globally in the spring. But even a single garment can have a big impact when it’s produced by a company of the size of H&M and the fact that it’s to be available worldwide also adds to that impact.
The appetite for greener solutions which drives the current industry-wide explosion of sustainable fashion reflects the fashion giant’s continuous polishing of its eco-friendly efforts.