H&M’s upcoming Conscious Exclusive collection will be the first ever collection to feature newly patented material Circulose. It means it’s the first time chemically recycled fibres are being used in garments sold at scale. The material is produced by re:newcell. It uses discarded textiles and is able to “replace forest raw material, in commercial quantities, without compromising on the quality”.
And the whole process that recycles the cotton and viscose fibres adds further to the circularity of Circulose because it uses a closed loop system for water and chemicals powered by renewable energy. H&M’s Investment Manager for Sustainable Fashion at the group’s investment arm CO:LAB, Erik Karlsson, said re:newcell’s work "perfectly aligns with our vision to become fully circular”.
Although this is its first use at scale, it’s still fairly limited in that it’s found in a single dress in a single collection. That dress is made of a mix of 50% Circulose from recycled jeans and 50 per cent viscose from FSC-certified wood, and will go on sale globally in the spring. But even a single garment can have a big impact when it’s produced by a company of the size of H&M and the fact that it’s to be available worldwide also adds to that impact.