H&M launches recycling machine

H&M launches recycling machine
Photos H&M

In an H&M branch in Stockholm, customers can have their old clothing transformed into a new item. The recycling machine 'Looop' takes care of the whole process in just a few hours. The project fits in with the retailer's broader sustainability objectives.


Show how recycling works

H&M installed Looop, which is the size of a container, in a shop on Drottninggatan, one of Stockholm's most famous shopping streets. Customers can bring back old textiles and have them (for a fee) transformed into a new item. The machine cleans and shreds the items brought in and eventually turns them into something new. Remarkably, the technology does not require water or chemicals. The whole process takes about 5 hours.

The purpose of this specific machine is not to recycle garments on an industrial scale, Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M, assures. The retailer mainly wants to show how textile recycling works, and sensitize customers to recycle old clothing. Research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has shown that no less than 87% of clothes worn are currently destroyed or dumped. Only 1% of the raw materials are used to make new clothing. The rest ends up as mattress filling or insulation material, writes Fast Company.

Looop is part of H&M Group's ambition to become fully circular and climate-positive by 2040. For example, by 2030 the fashion chain only wants to use recycled or sustainably produced materials. Last year this share amounted to 57%.