How H&M’s new in-store clothing recycling system works

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H&M has just started another recycling project: the fashion chain offers its customers in Sweden to turn discarded garments into new fashion items with the help of “Looop”, a container-size machine with a garment recycling system. Looop has been visible to the public in one of H&M’s centrally located Stockholm stores on Drottninggatan since October 12.

The Looop machine has the size of a container

The Looop machine has the size of a container

It uses a technique that disassembles old garments and reassembles them into new garments. The garments are cleaned, shredded into fibers and spun into a new yarn, which is then knitted into new fashion pieces. However, some new materials from sustainable sources still need to be added. The amount depends on what materials the garment to be recycled is made of. As H&M states, the system uses neither water nor chemicals, which “results in a much lower environmental impact than the traditional production of new garments”.

Looop machine

Looop machine

For members of the loyalty program “H&M Member” the service costs 100 SEK (€9,66), for non-members the amount is 150 SEK. All proceeds from Looop go to projects that specialize in materials research.

Looop recycling system

Looop recycling system

Looop was created by the non-profit H&M Foundation together with its research partner HKRITA (The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel) and the Hong Kong-based yarn-spinning mill Novetex Textiles.

Looop yarn

Looop yarn

According to H&M, the project is part of its long-term plan to become fully circular and climate positive.
“We are always looking for new technologies and innovations that will help transform the fashion industry. It is important to reduce dependence on new/unprocessed resources and Looop shows customers that old textiles are valuable. Getting customers on board is the key to achieving real change, so we are excited to see what Looop will trigger,” says Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M.

 

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