H&M recycles old garments into new clothes via Looop program

Swedish fashion retailer H&M will transform unwanted garments into new clothes in Sweden using a new recycling system called ‘Looop’. 

Unveiled this week in a store in Stockholm, the container-sized machine can recycle old textiles into new clothes.

Looop was created by the non-profit organisation, H&M Foundation, with its research partner The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and Hong Kong-based yarn spinner Novetex Textiles.

“We are constantly exploring new technology and innovations to help transform the fashion industry as we are working to reduce the dependency on virgin resources,” said Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M. “Getting customers on board is key to [achieving] real change and we are so excited to see what Looop will inspire.”

H&M said Looop uses old garments which are cleaned and shredded into fibres which are then spun into a new yarn that can be knitted into new clothes. They add sustainably sourced virgin materials during the process of making new clothes. The system does not use water and chemicals, so there is less environmental impact compared to manufacturing new clothes from scratch.

The fast-fashion company, which in 2013 launched a global garment collection program, said it wants to lead the change in the sustainable fashion industry. 

Members of H&M’s loyalty program can use Looop for 100 Swedish kronor (US$11.30), recycling their old garments into a new fashion staple. Non-members pay 150 Swedish kronor. 

All proceeds from the program will be invested into research on materials. The company said it is targeting to have all the materials they use for clothes recyclable and sourced sustainably by 2030.