H&M leads the way with sustainability program
Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M will be rolling out a 16-piece denim collection next month that recycles the items collected via its in-store garment-collection program, the company announced Thursday.
The collection, which uses 20 percent recycled cotton, includes six pieces for women (three jean styles, a flare-leg denim overall, denim jumpsuit and a denim jacket), five for men (including two jean styles, a zip-up denim jacket and a sweat pant silhouette in coated denim) and a handful of children’s items, including a zip-front hoodie with animal ears.
The collections range in price from $39.99 to $59.99 and the children’s pieces range from $17.99 to $29.99.
The Denim Re-Born collection brings the company closer to its stated goal of “closing the loop” in the apparel manufacturing process by turning old fabric from recycled garments into new textiles and diverting them from the landfill in the process. It’s also the next logical step for the company, which started an in-store garment collection program back in 2013.
As that program currently stands, customers who donate a bag of clothing at any H&M store nationwide will receive a voucher worth 15 percent off their next purchase.
A local charity in each country receives a donation that works out to roughly a penny per pound and I:CO (the same company that recently partnered with Levi Strauss & Co. on an in-store recycling program) receives the clothes, which then go through a triage process that sees some moving on to a new life as-is (in second-hand stores for example), some being turned into cleaning cloths or insulation material and some being recycled into yarn that can then be used to make new garments.
According to Thursday's announcement, the company has collected more than 14,000 tons of garments globally to date.
The Denim Re-Born collection is scheduled to launch in stores and online the first week of September.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.