PARIS — Kering and H&M said they are to test a new recycling technology that separates and extracts polyester and cotton from used garments in order to create new textiles.
The idea behind the technology — put in place by Worn Again, a U.K.-based textile up-cycling start-up — is to reduce fashion’s dependency on polyester, which is derived from petroleum.
According to estimates, the global production of polyester filament and cotton fiber stood at around 65 million tons in 2014. In 2020, the global demand for these fibers is expected to rise to 90 million tons.
“Innovation is what we need to solve our global environmental challenges. Our collaboration with H&M and Worn Again is a great example of this, demonstrating how we can design and deliver a solution that will be fundamental in eradicating textile waste while simultaneously offering a new type of sustainable raw material for our sport and lifestyle brands,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.
The French group said its sport brand Puma would run pilot projects before embarking on full-scale production. If the tests are successful, the first products could be made available before the end of the year.