H&M and IKEA lead large-scale study on recycled textiles

After their successes with fast fashion the greater part of the textile industry is now aiming to become more sustainable. One of the current projects is a large scale study reviewing chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling.

Swedish fashion and homeware companies H&M and Ikea work together in this study to gain better understanding of the possible risks of chemical contamination by recyclable textiles. According to the fashion company good chemical management is essential to ensure safe reuse of materials in the circular system, since the chemical content of collected pre-owned textiles are unknown.

The study has started in May 2018 and with over 8,000 tests on collected recyclable textiles, it will enable the two companies to gain more knowledge and develop an action plan for the use of recycled textiles. The study and its findings are also aimed at encouraging industry peers towards increased use of recycled textiles.
The results are stated to potentially also serve as basis for further legislation and standardization regarding chemicals in recycled textiles. Various other fashion companies such as Adidas, Kingfisher and Gap also contributed to the research that also started a databank to increase cross-industry knowledge of the chemical content of recycled textiles.