Fashion and design brands company H&M Group and waste management and recycling company Remondis announced the launch of Looper, a new joint venture aimed at developing infrastructure and solutions to collect and sort used and unwanted garments and textiles in Europe to enable resale and recycling.

According to H&M, approximately 60% of used clothes in the EU go to waste. Looper will collect garments from across Europe, and sort them at the company’s facilities in Germany, providing feedstock for companies engaged in reuse and recycling.

The company said that it aims to extend the highest use of approximately 40 million garments during 2023.

Looper will be led by CEO Emily Bolon, who most recently served as H&M Group’s Head of Commercial, Advisory and Strategic Partnerships, responsible for teams that identify and secure complex, high-value partnerships.

Bolon said:

“By building infrastructure and solutions for collection and sorting, we hope to move one step closer toward enabling circularity, thereby minimizing the CO²-impact and improving resource efficiency.”

The launch of the new joint venture follows a series of initiatives by H&M to improve fashion circularity, including establishing the first global garment collecting initiative by a fashion company in 2013, and investing in companies that develop technologies to enable textile recycling through its investment arm H&M CO:LAB.

In a statement announcing the launch of Looper, H&M said:

“With the creation of this standalone joint venture, H&M Group is participating more directly in developing the infrastructure that is necessary to close the loop of fashion.”

Looper said that it plans to innovate within textile collection and sorting, with initiatives to test new collection schemes and implement automated sorting technologies. The company also aims to develop an assortment of partners in the areas of reuse and recycling.

Marc Schubert, COO of Looper, said:

“We are convinced that the textile loop, due to its very high complexity, can only be closed with trusting, innovative and like-minded partners along the value chain and are pleased to have found the synergy between H&M Group and Remondis.”

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