The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced today that H&M has become its latest Global Partner accelerating the transition to the circular economy.
The partnership builds on H&M’s commitment to demonstrating circular innovation within fashion and textiles — a key economic sector. H&M joins the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s six existing Global Partners — Cisco, Google, Kingfisher, Philips, Renault and Unilever — in driving forward market-leading circular economy initiatives, at scale.
Global Partners work closely with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to identify opportunities to create value through circular practices, and to develop and implement targeted programs across their activities. As one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, H&M has the potential to fundamentally shift the extent to which the clothing sector restores and regenerates fabrics and fibers for productive use — as it is working to do through its collaboration with Worn Again and Kering to develop a circular resource model for textiles, and its Close the Loop collection of recycled denim.
“Operating in a key sector of the global economy, H&M’s vision for applying circular models represents a significant opportunity to scale up the transition,” said Dame Ellen MacArthur. “We are delighted to be working with H&M to build momentum towards the system shift that our economy needs to work in the long term.”
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Taking the perspective that both the paper and textile industries are fiber-based, with the paper industry already having come a long way in terms of recycling, a substantial opportunity exists for the clothing industry to emulate this success and to take it much further with regard to keeping biological- and technical-based fibers in circulation, at high quality. H&M says it is committed to taking a leading role in these regenerative practices, and that it will explore with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation how to apply circular economy thinking to all aspects of its operations and physical infrastructure, including its store footprint.
H&M is an existing member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100, the pre-competitive innovation program established to enable organizations to develop new opportunities and achieve their circular economy ambitions faster. As a Global Partner, H&M will intensify its collaboration with the Foundation over the coming years, to explore further opportunities to apply circular economy principles across the organization.