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H&M embraces new venture to buy 50 percent of its recycled polyester supplies

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Recycled polyester Credits: Syre

In a bid to revolutionise the fast fashion textile industry, H&M Group, in collaboration with Vargas Holding, has unveiled Syre, a groundbreaking venture supported by TPG Rise Climate. The primary objective is to scale up textile-to-textile recycled polyester and foster sustainability within the textile sector.

H&M Group has committed a substantial USD 600 million over seven years through an offtake agreement with Syre, securing a significant portion of its long-term recycled polyester needs.

Syre emerges as a strategic move by H&M Group to shift away from the conventional bottle-to-textile recycling model towards a more closed-loop alternative. The company envisions a pivotal transformation in the industry, distancing itself from virgin polyester use. However, critics raise concerns about H&M's track record, citing the need for a thorough examination of its existing environmental and ethical supply chain practices.

Daniel Ervér, CEO of H&M Group, expressed the venture as a crucial step towards integrating circularity into their business model.

Robust reporting required

While H&M Group highlights its commitment to material sustainability, with aspirations to achieve 50 percent recycled materials by 2030, there is some skepticism surrounding the company's broader impact on the environment. Furthermore, critics emphasise the importance of transparent reporting and robust accountability mechanisms to ensure genuine progress in sustainable practices.

Syre aims to establish a production plant in North Carolina, USA, operational by 2024, with subsequent plans for global expansion. The venture intends to provide recycled polyester yarn comparable in quality to virgin polyester, addressing the environmental impact concerns. However, the scrutiny remains on how well H&M Group will manage and mitigate the ecological footprint associated with its massive production scale-up.

In collaboration with Vargas Holding and TPG Rise Climate, H&M Group positions itself as a key player in driving climate solutions and circular economy initiatives. Nevertheless, achieving its ambitious goals will require navigating challenges and addressing broader concerns about the fashion industry's sustainability practices. The success of Syre will inevitably be measured not only by its environmental impact but also by H&M Group's commitment to transparency, ethical practices, and addressing critical industry issues.

Sustainable Fashion