H&M Foundation joins forces with Hong Kong Textile innovator

The H&M Foundation is partnering with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel

The H&M Foundation is partnering with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel (HKRITA) on a five-year contract to advance conscious, sustainable practices within the fashion and textile industry.

The collaboration is an extension of a previous four-year partnership, with H&M pledging to contribute an additional $12 million to implement a closed-loop supply chain. Under this programme, projects focus on CO2 capturing cellulose textiles, bio-removal of denim indigo by macroalgae, regenerated cellulose fibre, and superabsorbent polymer.

HKRITA will lead research into technological innovation whilst collaborating closely with H&M Foundation to commercialise these goods when available.

The nonprofit H&M Foundation is endowed by the Stefan Persson family, donating over $178 million since 2013. The Foundation has sought to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in order to further sustainable development across the world.

The HKRITA is hosted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, also receiving significant support from the Innovation and Technology Fund of the Hong Kong SAR government.

In its first partnership, HKRITA and the H&M Foundation created a hydrothermal separation treatment, known as The Green Machine; this was adopted in fashion leader Monki’s newest collection.

Upcoming projects in the five-year partnership will address carbon-dioxide-capturing cellulose textiles, bio-removal of denim indigo by macroalgae, and regenerated cellulose fibre.

Erik Bang, Innovation Lead at H&M, has stated: “The partnership with HKRITA has far exceeded our expectations and we are excited to expand in scope and ambition. We look forward to making the Planet First program a revolutionary one, together with the team at HKRITA.”

Edwin Keh, CEO of HKRITA, continued: “Our goal is to find technologies and solutions that we can openly share with the industry to ensure rapid scaling and a positive impact. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious program of its type, designed to move the needle in this industry, and we are very excited to start discovering the breakthroughs that can change the game.”

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