Fast fashion chain H&M and recycler form company for used clothes

15.02.2023, 15:17

German waste management company Remondis and Swedish fast fashion chain H&M have announced a joint venture on Wednesday to recycle clothes and boost sustainability.

The joint venture, Looper Textile, will collect, sort and sell used textile items, its chief executive Emily Bolon said.

Currently in the European Union, 60% of discarded textiles end up directly in the bin and only 40% are recycled, she said. Bolon said the company aims to boost the circular economy and will use a new sorting technology.

Environmentalists are not impressed.

H&M is a fast-fashion company that wastes important resources with its business model of fast-moving clothes, said Viola Wohlgemuth from Greenpeace.

"At its core, the joint venture is not about sustainability, but about securing increasingly valuable textile fabric streams," she said.

Wohlgemuth cited the EU's strategy to promote the use of recycled fibres, thereby increasing demand and boosting profits for H&M and Remondis.

Textiles should instead be produced in such a way that they can be recycled with existing technology and not burnt in waste incineration plants or exported as waste, as has been the case up to now, she added.

"For this, H&M and the whole fast-fashion industry urgently need to change," the activist said.