It turns out that a measly one per cent of the world’s clothing is recycled. But that’s about to change with Circulose, a brand new textile from Swedish company Re:newcell, who have found a way to take old cotton and break it down to a molecular level, and then rebuild it into a pristine new material.
“The fashion scene is always changing but the industry itself hasn’t,” says Harald Cavalli-Björkman, the company’s head of brand, who adds that Circulose is effectively the world’s first industrial-scale, circular, affordable and top-quality alternative to fresh cotton. Given Re:newcell is already targetting recycling a billion garments a year by 2025, it’s little wonder H&M took a minority stake in them.
In fact, this savvy investment by the fast fashion behemoth has allowed them to become the first brand to retail a garment made from Circulose. And the ruffled blue dress you see here is it. Part of H&M’s SS20 Conscious Exclusive collections (something they do twice a year to push designers and producers towards a more sustainable future), it’s no ordinary garment, rather it marks a major milestone in fashion.