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Billy Hunter

Editor's Viewpoint

5th November 2019, Stockholm

World’s first circular cotton clothing lines

Circulose is a new, eco-friendly material made by gently recovering cotton from worn-out clothes, transforming it into a pristine, new material for reuse in fashion. © Re:newcell.

Circulose is a new, eco-friendly material made by gently recovering cotton from worn-out clothes, transforming it into a pristine, new material for reuse in fashion. © Re:newcell.

Sustainable fashion company Re:newcell, is set to launch the world’s first clothing lines made from ‘circular cotton’ early next year. The company, which was founded by innovators from Stockholm’s KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) in 2012, has created Circulose, a new, eco-friendly material made by gently recovering cotton from worn-out clothes, transforming it into a pristine, new material for reuse in fashion.

Circulose was developed in response to the waste and pollution currently caused by the fashion industry which, according to research, generates more greenhouse gases than international aviation and shipping combined. Additionally, less than 1% of textile clothing is recycled with the vast majority of unwanted or worn out garments ending up in landfills or incineration plants.

Already, Re:newcell has more than 50 brands lined up to start using Circulose on a global level.

Harald Cavalli-Bjorkman, head of communications at Re:newcell, comments, “We’ve spent years creating and perfecting Circulose to ensure we bring the industry a great quality, affordable, circular material. We are incredibly excited to bring Circulose onto the fashion runways and into people’s closets, and we’re set to launch collaborations with three of the world's leading brands early next year.”

“We see no reason why recycling clothes shouldn’t be as easy as recycling paper and our aim is to upcycle a billion garments annually by 2030.”

Through its patented process, Circulose takes clothes containing cellulose, such as cotton and viscose, and transforms them into a biodegradable material that the fashion industry can make new clothes from. The process reduces the reliance on virgin cotton, oil production, and the harvesting of trees using less water, fewer chemicals, and emitting less CO2, the company explains.

While several initiatives are experimenting with new circular materials, Re:newcell says it is the first to provide a large scale solution. At its plant in Sweden, Re:newcell can produce 7,000 tonnes of biodegradable Circulose pulp per year, equalling about 30 million t-shirts by weight.

The company has raised more than $20m funding to date from investors including H&M and KhappAl and is regularly recognised for its work to make fashion sustainable. Most recently, Re:newcell won the Norrsken Impact Award recognising Nordic startups working to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

www.renewcell.com

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