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H&M and IKEA collaboration to keep textiles free of toxic chemicals

With the increasing call for sustainability in the global fashion industry, H&M and IKEA announced to collaborate on a large-scale study reviewing chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling.

H&M-IKEA collaboration

The collaboration is needed as companies with strict standards about chemicals in their products are cautious about using recycled material they cannot control.

At the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference 2019 gathers companies and organizations from more than 25 countries and provides the perfect setting to present the joint efforts made to address this challenge.

Anna Biverstål, H&M Group’s Global Business Expert on Materials and Nils Månsson, Materials and Innovation Deployment Manager at IKEA Range and Supply, presented the study and shared some initial findings with the industry.

“Recycled materials are key elements in a circular economy. However, increasing the use of recycled materials whilst ensuring that we keep these textiles free of toxic chemicals presents a challenge for the industry. We’re pleased to announce that H&M Group and IKEA have joined forces in a study to address this challenge,” said Anna Biverstål, Global Business Expert on Materials at H&M Group.

“Recycled materials are key elements in a circular economy. However, increasing the use of recycled materials whilst ensuring that we keep these textiles free of toxic chemicals presents a challenge for the industry. We’re pleased to announce that H&M Group and IKEA have joined forces in a study to address this challenge.”

Anna Biverstål, Global Business Expert on Materials at H&M Group

With over 8,000 tests conducted on collected recyclable textiles, H&M Group and IKEA will have better possibilities to develop an action plan for the use of recycled textiles, while meeting our strict safety standards.

The ambition for the study is also to use the findings to encourage industry peers towards increased use of recycled textiles. The results gathered could potentially also serve as a base for further legislation and standardization regarding chemicals in recycled textiles.

“By sharing initial findings from the study, we can create awareness and a new understanding to review the entire value chain of textiles, from production and consumption, towards recycling,” Linn Farhadi, Project Leader Recycled Textiles at H&M Group.

The initial focus for the study has been post-consumer cotton, with polyester and wool-rich post-consumer textiles to be included as the study progresses.

Collaborations and data sharing within and across industries are key to enable real, positive change. This joint study between H&M Group and IKEA serves as a great example of this approach.

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