European retail giant Zalando, material science and digital labels maker Avery Dennison and outdoor and sportswear manufacturer Youngone participated in the funding round announced Wednesday, along with several previous investors including 8090 Industries, Circulate Capital, Vodia Capital, and City Light Capital.
Virginia-based Circ, which has developed a heat and chemical process for recycling clothes made from polyester-cotton blends, said it would use the funding to accelerate building its facilities for industrial scale, with a view to bringing its first consumer products to market in the first half of this year.
The deal follows a $30 million Series B round Circ closed in July 2022, which saw Zara-owner Inditex enter the clean-tech space for the first time as one of the participating investors. It’s an example of brands’ and retailers’ growing interest and investment in innovative, sustainability-focused start-ups, particularly as incoming regulation puts further pressure on the fashion industry to reduce its environmental impact, tackle a mounting clothing waste crisis and kerb demand for virgin raw materials.
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