International retailer, H&M, has partnered with the UK based circular economy proponents, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as it bids to accelerate its the transition to the circular economy.
The tie up was announced by Dame Ellen MacArthur at the BSR 2015 conference in San Francisco.
The foundation explained that H&M joins its six existing Global Partners: Cisco, Google, Kingfisher, Philips, Renault and Unilever, in driving forward market-leading circular economy initiatives, at scale.
The organisation added that it works closely with its Global Partners to identify opportunities to create value through circular practices and to develop and implement targeted programmes across their activities.
According to the foundation, as one of the world's largest fashion retailers H&M has the potential to fundamentally shift the extent to which the clothing sector restores and regenerates fabrics and fibres for productive use.
Taking the perspective that both the paper and textile industries are fibre-based, with the paper industry already having come a long way in terms of recycling, the organisation explained that a substantial opportunity exists for the clothing sector to emulate this success and to take it much further with regard to keeping biological and technical based fibres in circulation, at high quality.
For its part, H&M will also explore with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation how to apply circular economy thinking to all aspects of its operations and physical infrastructure, including its store footprint.
H&M is an existing member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy 100, a pre-competitive innovation programme established to enable organisations to develop new opportunities and achieve their circular economy ambitions faster.
The foundation added that as a Global Partner, H&M will intensify its collaboration with the Foundation over the coming years, to explore further opportunities to apply circular economy principles across the organisation.
“Operating in a key sector of the global economy, H&M's vision for applying circular models represents a significant opportunity to scale up the transition,” commented Dame Ellen MacArthur.
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