Japanese sportswear brand ASICS Europe and German outdoor textiles specialist Sympatex are just some of the new names to join founder members H&M and Kering in the Worn Again Technologies pioneer members’ programme. The initiative, which now also includes German linen supplier Dibella, US brand Dhana and Mexican textile and garment suppliers Directex and Himes guarantees members access to certain volumes of recycled raw material from the UK textile technology specialist, which can separate, decontaminate and extract polyester polymers and cellulose (from cotton) from non-reusable textiles, as well as plastic bottles and packaging. The extracted raw materials can then go back into new fibre as part of a repeatable process that fits in with circular economy principles.
“From the early days of development, we knew that working with strategic partners would be the most effective way to bring our vision to reality,” says Cyndi Rhoades, CEO and Founder of Worn Again Technologies. “We have been building the technology and the infrastructure for this solution over the last eight years, but the brands and companies selling products will play a huge role in enabling us to deliver circular resources to the global textiles industry. ”Worn Again Technologies, has revealed the establishment of its Pioneer Members’ programme in a bid to propel the fashion and textile sectors into more circular ways of doing business. The UK business says the companies that have signed up: H&M, Kering ASICS Europe, Sympatex, Dibella, Dhana and Mexican textile and garment suppliers Directex and Himes will now have guaranteed access to a percentage share of initial Worn Again Technologies’ circular PET and cellulose outputs to use in their supply chains. This it says, will: “prove a competitive advantage in the coming decade as demand for circular supply resources rises. Additionally, this group will be offered pre-market access to developments and engagement in industry trials on the outputs during the scaling phase.” Worn Again Technologies also issues a call for forward-thinking brands to join now.
Romy Miltenburg, Manager CSR & Sustainability EMEA at ASICS, said: “ASICS is dedicated to sport and its healthy contribution to society. Our goal is to create products that not only help people to live happier and healthier lives, but also leave our planet safe and sound. Through this partnership with Worn Again Technologies, we are one step closer to our goal of creating a circular business model.” Pioneer Member H&M Group has pledged that by 2030, the group “aims for 100 per cent recycled, or other sustainably sourced materials” and Kering holds a commitment to “ensure 100 per cent traceability of key raw materials by 2025.” ASICS Europe also has ambitious future targets committing to replace all conventional polyester used in apparel and footwear upper materials with recycled alternatives by 2030. Dhana, which has signed 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment by Global Fashion Agenda, Dibella (supported by Lucky Textiles) and Sympatex (which met Worn Again Technologies via the Fashion for Good programme and LAUNCH Circular Innovators network, respectively) each also have circularity as a core business driver with ambitions to make an impact to their industry sectors.