Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Syre

Hyper-scale polyester recycling for green garments

Fashion & Beauty

The scalable, circular process recycles used textiles into new, high-quality polyester fibres

Spotted: Polyester has an array of uses, including in clothing, automotive materials, and home interiors. However, virgin polyester production uses crude oil and is one of the textile industry’s biggest sources of CO2 emissions.

Syre, founded by global fashion and design company H&M Group, is on a mission to create a circular system for manufacturing polyester, using polyester waste as a raw material. Syre is developing textile-to-textile circular polyester (cPET), producing materials with a similar quality to oil-based virgin polyester. The new process will reduce CO2-equivalent emissions in polyester manufacturing by up to 85 per cent.

The company plans on moving fast, with its first ‘blueprint’ production plant operational in 2024, and 12 gigascale plants up and running at full capacity worldwide within 10 years. These will be capable of producing over three million metric tonnes of circular polyester.

Chief Communications and People Officer Emma Stjernlöf told Springwise that “Based on this blueprint, the manufacturing process will be rapidly scaled for global expansion, starting with Asia (Vietnam) and Europe (Iberia).” Syre claims that its manufacturing platform could also expand into other fibres in the future.

Syre was funded initially by H&M and Vargas Holdings, among other investors, and has recently completed a $100 million series A funding round. The company has an offtake agreement with H&M worth a total of $600 million over seven years. Syre will cover a significant share of H&M’s polyester, helping the brand become more sustainable.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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