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Monki’s textile-to-textile polyester recycled collection

Swedish fast-fashion brand Monki has launched the first capsule clothing collection ‘Up:cycle’ using a breakthrough textile-to-textile recycling process. The collection is made from leftover organic cotton denim garments, including recycled thread and zippers, and eco-friendly hardware and wash.

Figure: For it’s the first time a hydrothermal system that can fully separate and recycle cotton and polyester blended fabrics into new fibres has moved from trial to products.

Developed through a research collaboration between the non-profit H&M Foundation and HKRITA (The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel) – which owns the intellectual property (IP) – the process uses a closed loop of just water, heat and biodegradable green chemicals to separate the fibres, which can be used again and again.

The collection production process is explained in a simple 5-step method. Firstly, the leftover organic cotton denim is hand-selected by the production team. The new pattern is then cut out from the leftover garments. The pieces are sewn together to create a new and unique upcycled garment. And lastly, the garments are rinse washed with no new dye added.

The collection name, Up:cycle, is a word derived from recycling, it means to not only reuse but repurpose in a new way – often resulting in a unique and high-quality product. Upcycling is a creative and innovative way to give new life to textiles that may otherwise end up in landfill, while simultaneously promoting a more circular society.

“This collection is a small step in our journey to become more circular. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!”

Jenny Fagerlin, Global Sustainability Manager Monki

“We love fashion and our planet, and we, therefore, need to transform ourselves and the industry to operate within the planetary boundaries,” Jenny Fagerlin, Global Sustainability Manager Monki.

Monki’s planet power commitment is at the core of everything it does.

Monki is not only recognized for its on-trend collections and sisterhood values, but also the brand’s sustainability efforts. The brand is dedicated to using better materials in all products, part of the bigger goal, to only use recycled or other sustainably sourced material by 2030.

This includes a broad denim range made with 100% certified organic cotton, much-loved swimwear made from recycled polyester and polyamide, and since 2018 all Monki cotton is 100% sustainably sourced.

It is also why all stores offer garment and textile recycling, why all stores and offices are powered by renewable energy and, why the brand aims to become climate positive throughout the entire value chain by 2040.

“This collection is a small step in our journey to become more circular. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!” Jenny Fagerlin.

The capsule features three key pieces – a pair of Yoko jeans, a tie-waist jacket and a tote bag. All crafted in a patchwork design of mixed organic denim washes.

It focuses on cotton and polyester blends, the most widely used clothing material but until now impossible to separate and recycle commercially. Uniquely, the recovered polyester comes out in fibre form and can be reused directly, without any loss of quality.

On top of this, the technology is cost effective, and it tackles the logistical nightmare of moving waste textiles around the world.

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