IKEA and H&M join forces to improve recyclability of textiles

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The concept of circular economy is gaining more and more ground in the business world with many companies adopting circular policies and strategies. Many of these progressive companies are, however, not satisfied with simply recycling whatever they can, they need to be sure that they are not recycling hazardous chemicals that might be present in the materials.

Two such companies are IKEA and H&M. They are both dedicated towards becoming circular in a matter of years but avoid recycling materials that contain hazardous chemicals. Now, the two companies have joined forces in a large-scale study reviewing chemical content of recyclable fabrics such as shirts, pants and other textiles.

“Increasing the use of recycled materials whilst ensuring that we keep textiles free of toxic chemicals presents a challenge for the industry”, Anna Biverstål, Global Business Expert on Materials at H&M, said in a press release from the company.

The study began in May 2018 but was announced at this year’s Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference. IKEA and H&M have collected 166 samples of cotton-based textiles, mostly from clothes that had been donated, and spent months running them through chemical analysis in 8,000 tests.



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