Circular solutions help change fashion, which helps fight climate change. For example, if we use a recycled cotton shirt to make a new shirt there’s no need to grow more cotton as we can just use what’s already been produced. That’s circular fashion. And that’s what Looop is all about: the world’s first in-store recycling system turning old garments into new ones. In just eight steps, Looop shreds your old garment and knits a new one from the old fibres. No water, no dye. The only thing added is some sustainably sourced material to strengthen the yarn, since the mechanical shredding shortens the fibres of your old garment. The technology behind Looop has been developed by ‘The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel’ (HKRITA) in collaboration with the non-profit ‘H&M Foundation’. HKRITA will license the technology widely to help the entire industry become more circular: to create real change, all brands need access to technologies like Looop. Nothing’s too tattered or torn to be recycled: no clothes should ever end up in the trash, and recycling is also super-important for circular fashion to work. H&M started its global garment collecting programme in 2013: one can recycle any clothes or textiles from any brand in any of H&M stores. With Looop, H&M takes the next step: it is the start of a recycling revolution. Looop is installed at Drottninggatan 56 in Stockholm, Sweden. Here follows a run-through of the eight steps turning old garments into new:
1. Cleaning
First, your old garment is sprayed with ozone to remove any microorganisms.
2. Shredding
The garment is then shredded down into small chunks of fabric fibres.
3. Filtering
Shredded chunks are filtered to remove dirt, and extra virgin material is added for strength.
4. Carding
The clean fibre mix is straightened into a fibre web and then pulled into slivers.
5. Drawing
Multiple fibre slivers are combined to create even stronger, thicker slivers.
6. Spinning
The thick fibre slivers are spun to create a single yarn thread.
7. Twisting
Single yarn threads are doubled and twisted together to increase their strength.
8. Knitting
The yarn is then knitted into a new, ready-to-wear design.