H&M and Ikea: The brands starting a large-scale recycled material study

With multiple fashion brands having a far more environmentally conscious take on fashion production and the materials they use, H&M and Ikea have teamed up to start the biggest study of recycled materials and how they can be used in fashion production.

As we currently face a climate crisis, fast-fashion brands and fashion businesses are becoming far more aware of their carbon footprints and how they can reduce the amount of pollution and environmental damage caused by the fashion industry. H&M is one of the fashion brands that is working towards creating products that are sustainable and more environmentally friendly. At the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference this year, the H&M group announced that they had partnered with the well-known home wear and furniture brand Ikea to conduct a large-scale study of recycled material. The chemical content in pre-owned and recycled textiles is still unknown and the H&M Group and Ikea are aiming to work together to understand recycled textiles and to make sure that recycled materials are safe and that the fashion industry as a whole can have more clarity around the chemical content of recycled materials.

This study has been ongoing since May 2018 and gained far more publicity after the conference. The H&M Group and Ikea have already conducted 8,000 tests on recycled materials.

Anna Biverstål, H&M’s global business expert on materials, said in a statement she gave on the study that: “Recycled materials are key elements in a circular economy. However, increasing the use of recycled materials whilst ensuring that we keep these textiles free of toxic chemicals presents a challenge for the industry.”

The main material focus for their study has been post-consumer cotton and as the study progresses H&M and Ikea also plan to research the chemical content of recycled polyester and wool.

This is one of the most groundbreaking studies being conducted in the fashion and textile industry and can massively benefit multiple fashion brands who aim to use recycled materials in fashion production. H&M and Ikea aim to use their research and findings to create an action plan for the use of recycled materials that will meet the strict safety standards of the fashion and textile industry.

 You can find more of Emmie’s work over on Twitter at @StylesEmmie. 

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