Textile Recycling : H&M and IKEA lead large-scale study on recycled textiles

© H&M

After long years of fast fashion the textile industry, or at least parts of it, aims to be more sustainable. One of the ongoing projects is a large scale study reviewing chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling since increased utilization of recycled materials is for many companies one of the key elements in becoming more circular and renewable. Swedish fashion and homeware giants H&M and Ikea collaborate in this study to know better the possible risks of chemical contamination of recyclable textiles. "The chemical content of collected pre-owned textiles are unknown, so to ensure the safe reuse of materials in the circular system, we must ensure good chemical management", a statement from H&M says about the study, that started in May 2018..

"With over 8,000 tests conducted on collected recyclable textiles, H&M Group and IKEA will have better possibilities to develop an action plan for the use of recycled textiles, while meeting our strict safety standards. The ambition for the study is also to use the findings to encourage industry peers towards increased use of recycled textiles. The results gathered could potentially also serve as a base for further legislation and standardization regarding chemicals in recycled textiles."

Various other fashion companies such as Adidas, Kingfisher and Gap also contributed to the research that also initiated a databank to increase cross-industry knowledge of the chemical content of recycled textiles.