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H&M to introduce textile recycling machine in Cambodia with HKRITA

By Rachel Douglass

Oct 25, 2021

Business

Image: H&M x HKRITA

In a bid to address the increasing textile waste in Cambodia, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel Limited (HKRITA) has developed technology that can recycle blend textiles, in cooperation with the H&M Foundation.

Additionally initiated alongside VF Corporation and other international organisations, the technology labelled The Green Machine is looking to be deployed in Cambodia by 2022, with the goal of contributing to a better future for the country.

According to the company announcement, the machine is a first of its kind in both sorting and recycling polyester and cotton blend textiles at scale without quality loss. Utilising a hydrothermal method, the process uses 15 percent of a biodegradable chemical to separate the materials.

“Our aim is to develop technologies and solutions that can have a positive impact on our planet, and the Green Machine is an excellent example of that,” said HKRITA CEO, Edwin Keh, in a quote as part of the announcement. “The continuously growing demand for this solution will drive change and generate value for the entire fashion and textile industry.”

The implementation of the machine is part of a solution to create circular practices within the industry, with key partners in the production brought together to assess the industrial scale development of the project.

It also hopes to enrich the lives of the communities impacted by the rise in textile waste, producing new jobs and improving local environmental factors.