Re:newcell and Beyond Retro partner on textile-to-textile recycling
Swedish textile recycling innovator Re:newcell AB has announced that it has reached a new multi-year agreement with UK-headed Beyond Retro and its Canadian parent company Bank & Vogue, for the supply of pre and post-consumer textile waste to be recycled at the new Re:newcell industrial-scale "Circulose" plant to be built in Sundsvall, Sweden.
Individually, the two companies have already made a significant impact on the fashion landscape. In the last three years, they have partnered together to further close the loop by ensuring that thousands of jeans and other cotton garments that could not be sold second hand have been upcycled into new clothes at Re:newcell’s recycling plant in Kristinehamn, Sweden.
Leverage existing partnership
Leveraging Beyond Retro and Bank & Vogue’s unique expertise in sourcing, sorting, and grading used clothing, Re:newcell has been creating “Circulose” fibre for groundbreaking circular fashion projects with clothing majors such as Levis, and H&M Group, moving towards long-lasting, global innovations to divert textile waste from landfills and incinerators and make fashion circular.
In this next step of the journey to closing the loop on fashion. Bank & Vogue will be Re:newcell’s largest supplier in their future recycling plant in Sundsvall, Sweden, which will employ innovative and patented technology to recycle the cotton in worn-out jeans into Circulose, a new virgin grade raw material for the fashion industry.
We have been working in used clothing for over two decades, and our long-standing relationships with charitable organizations across North America gives us the opportunity to really change the fashion industry by offering used clothing as a sustainable and scalable alternative to new production. Re:newcell’s work is an incredible example of Swedish innovation, and their passion for sustainability has challenged us to develop new solutions to the crisis of stuff. With this new dimension to our partnership, we can scale up our recycling even further, and are thrilled to find more relevant solutions for the increasing volume of used clothing, to complement our successful wholesale and retail businesses, said Steven Bethell, Founder and Creative Director of Bank & Vogue and Beyond Retro.
Building on successful commercial launches in 2020 with brands like H&M and Levi’s, Re:newcell has accelerated their capacity growth to meet surging demand from a fashion industry desperate for circular raw materials.
Largest textile waste supplier
Re:newcell’s future plant, which will be built at the site of a former paper mill in Sundsvall, Sweden, will have the capacity to recycle hundreds of millions of garments every year through a patented eco-friendly process running on 100 percent green energy.
Bank & Vogue will be Re:newcell’s most important partner in sourcing textile waste providing 30 000 tonnes of pre and post-consumer textiles per annum – many millions of pairs of worn-out jeans – to what will be the largest textile-to-textile cellulose recycling plant in the world.
Today, less than one percent of all clothes are recycled back into clothes, and that carelessness is driving climate change and ravaging natural environments. The fashion industry simply has to take much better care of the materials it harvests from the earth. Since 2017 we’ve worked closely together with Bank & Vogue to reduce the industry’s reliance on virgin materials. With this agreement, we take the next step to industrial-scale textile-to-textile recycling. I’m truly impressed with Bank & Vogue’s experience and capacity for innovation, and without them, we wouldn’t be where we are, ready to put shovel to the ground for our next recycling plant. Together, we prove fashion waste unnecessary – all clothes should be used, reused, and recycled, said Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell.
The collaboration between Bank & Vogue is welcomed by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK-based charity committed to the creation of a circular economy that tackles some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as waste, pollution, and climate change.
Francois Souchet, who leads the Foundation’s initiative ‘Make Fashion Circular’ which creates international efforts to stop waste and pollution in fashion by creating a circular economy for the industry said:
In a circular economy, clothes are used more, are made to be made again, and are made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs. This innovative partnership between Bank & Vogue and Re:newcell will contribute to progressing towards this vision, by ensuring that more used clothes are turned into new ones, commented Francois Souchet.