(Photo credit: H&M)

Alternative rPET application

H&M Group and Vargas Holding launch Syre, a new venture to scale textile-to-textile recycled polyester

Stockholm, Sweden

The co-founded venture, also backed by TPG Rise Climate, aims to rapidly scale textile-to-textile recycling of polyester and contribute to a more sustainable textile industry. H&M Group has secured an offtake agreement with Syre worth a total of USD 600 million over seven years, covering a significant share of H&M Group’s long-term need for recycled polyester, which is currently primarily sourced from rPET bottle-to-textile.

Through Syre, H&M Group aims to contribute to a meaningful shift in the industry by moving away from virgin polyester and the current industry standard bottle-to-textile recycling, known as recycled polyester (rPET), towards a closed loop alternative.

''The new venture Syre is an important next step on H&M Group’s journey to integrate circularity across our business. With this solution to rapidly scale textile-to-textile recycling, we want to continue to drive and inspire more industry players to join us in closing the loop and accelerating the shift towards a more sustainable future.'' - Daniel Ervér, CEO of H&M Group.

H&M Group has also strengthened its recycled material ambition – an important part of the strategy to decouple growth from virgin resource use. H&M Group’s overarching material ambition is to have 100 percent of materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way by 2030, with the subgoal of 30 percent recycled materials by 2025. As the company is moving closer to achieving the target of 30 percent recycled materials by 2025, the ambition is to now aim for 50 percent recycled by 2030.

Scalable technology and infrastructure are significant barriers that no company can overcome alone. That is why H&M Group continues to collaborate with other industry players and invest in new innovations and infrastructure, such as Syre.

Syre will aim to provide a recycled polyester yarn with equivalent quality to virgin polyester, but with a lower impact on the planet. Syre is building a production plant in North Carolina, United States, with the intention of being operational during 2024. From there, the manufacturing process and technology will be scaled up for global expansion. Within ten years, Syre aspires to have twelve plants up and running at full speed and capacity across the globe, producing more than three million metric tons of recycled polyester.

''Syre marks the start of the great textile shift. We envision a world where every textile fiber sees a new day. By implementing true textile-to-textile recycling at hyperscale, we want to drive the transition from a linear to a circular value chain by putting textile waste to use, over and over again.'' - Dennis Nobelius, CEO of Syre.

In Vargas Holding, H&M Group has a partner who specialises in building impact companies (Northvolt, Polarium, H2 Green Steel and Aira) to realise ideas that push boundaries for a sustainable future. In addition, TPG Rise Climate, the dedicated climate investing strategy of global alternative asset manager TPG, has joined as a founding investor, bringing extensive experience scaling climate solutions globally and in companies focused on the circular economy.

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