During the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference 2019, which was attended by companies and organizations from over 25 countries, H&M and IKEA announced a cooperation. In a large-scale study, the two companies are reviewing the chemical content of recycled textiles.

H&M uses a large number of recycled materials to manufacture its products. Accordingly, the method is an important component for the company to achieve its goal of becoming 100 percent circular and regenerative.

Ensuring good chemicals management

“We are working strategically to achieve our sustainable goals, using science and partnerships to achieve them,” the company says. In addition, H&M is aware that simple textile recycling can pose new problems, as “the chemical content of the collected used textiles is uncertain, so we must ensure good chemical management for safe reuse of the materials in the recycling system”.

The study by H&M and Ikea on the chemical composition of recycled textiles was launched last year.

Industrial challenge

“Recycled materials are a central element in a circular economy. However, it is a challenge for industry to increase the use of recycled materials while ensuring that these textiles remain free of toxic chemicals. We are pleased to announce that the H&M Group and Ikea have teamed up for a study to address this challenge,” said Anna Biverstål, Global Business Expert for Materials at the H&M Group.

The two Swedish retailers carried out 8,000 tests on collected recyclable textiles. H&M and Ikea believe that this will give them “better opportunities to develop an action plan for the use of recycled textiles while maintaining our strict safety standards”.

The Group also believes that its results can influence the industry as a whole and lay the groundwork for future legislation. “The aim of this study is also to use the findings to encourage industry colleagues to use more recycled textiles. The results could also serve as a basis for further legislation and standards when it comes to chemicals in recycled textiles”.

Initially, the focus of the study was on recycled cotton, but recycled polyester and wool were also included in the study.


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Link: H&M and Ikea conduct joint study on recycled textiles.

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