Remondis, the German multi-national recycling group, has partnered with clothing giant H&M to establish a joint venture to provide feedstock to companies and innovators engaged in textile resale and recycling.
Looper Textile is a standalone company, owned 50% by H&M Group and 50% by Remondis, set up to collect, sort and sell used and unwanted garments and textiles.
It is starting operations within Europe and aims to process approximately 40 million garments this year. Plans include innovative textile processes, for example by testing new collection schemes and implementing automated technologies such as near-infrared sorting. It is also looking to develop partners in reuse and recycling.
Today, less than 40% of used clothes are collected in the EU,’ says Emily Bolon, ceo of Looper Textile. ‘Consequently, 60% of post-consumer textiles go directly to waste. By building infrastructure and solutions for collection and sorting, we hope to move one step closer toward enabling circularity, thereby minimising the CO²-impact and improving resource efficiency.’
H&M Group claims it was the first fashion company to launch a garment collecting initiative in 2013. Its investment arm H&M CO:LAB backs companies that develop technologies to enable textile recycling.
Remondis operates what it says is Europe’s largest industrial recycling centre, covering 230 hectares, in the German town of Lünen.