Primark and H&M collaborate on circular fashion initiative

Primark, H&M and Zalando are taking part in a new initiative geared to raise the profile of circular business models.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which campaigns for a more circular economy, is leading the Fashion ReModel project, which gets fashion brands working together to find solutions to separate revenues from production.

The move comes amid ongoing criticism of fashion brands, including Primark and H&M, which have been accused of environmentally unfriendly practices.

The scheme was launched at The Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, with other brands taking part including COS, Weekday and Arket.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is campaigning for more circular fashion practices like rental, resale, repair and remaking to help to keep garments in use.

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Research from the foundation estimated that this could make up 23% of the global fashion market by 2030, representing a $700 billion opportunity to transform the future of fashion.

“The fashion industry is rooted in reinvention and we welcome business-led action towards a world where, instead of being worn once and discarded, clothes can be used many more times and threaded through the lives of more people,” said the foundation’s fashion lead Jules Lennon.

In order to challenge conventional linear models and create a new normal, brands must decouple revenue from production by accelerating efforts to redesign the products of the future, as well as rethinking the services and business models which deliver them to customers and keep them in use.”

The charity said it believes the shared learnings and experiences from Primark, H&M and the other brands involved will help forge a path towards a more sustainable fashion industry.

The new circular initiative follows the foundation’s ‘Jeans Redesign’ project, which challenged participants to reimagine the wardrobe staple to be fit for a circular economy between 2019 and 2023.

A report by the foundation last year found that companies were “far off track” on plastic pollution.

Towards the end of last year, Primark revealed that more than 55% of the clothes it sold in 2023 were made from sustainable materials, up from 45% in 2022.

Circular economyClimate crisisInnovationPolicySocial sustainability

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