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Worn Again Press Release – May 2019

May 14, 2019

WORN AGAIN TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES ITS PIONEER MEMBERS, THE GROUP LEADING THE CHARGE FOR CIRCULAR RESOURCES

Leading companies become first in line for circular raw materials supply as technology prepares for industrialisation

 

Worn Again Technologies, creators of award-winning polymer recycling technology, has announced its Pioneer Members’ programme consisting of some of the most forward-thinking brands in the global apparel and textiles industry. The establishment of this programme takes Worn Again Technologies one step further on its mission to propel the shift to a circular resource world, wasting no time – or textiles – in getting there.

Worn Again Technologies’ polymer recycling process can separate, decontaminate and extract polyester polymers and cellulose (from cotton) from non-reusable textiles, as well as plastic bottles and packaging, to go back into new fibre as part of a repeatable process.

Next to join founding Pioneer Members, H&M and Kering, are Japanese sportswear brand ASICS Europe, German outdoor textiles specialist Sympatex, German linen supplier Dibella, US youth sustainable fashion brand Dhana and Mexican textile and garment manufactures Directex and Himes.

Worn Again Technologies’ patented process aims to ensure its dual PET and cellulose outputs extracted from textiles and bottles will have economic competitiveness to virgin resources whilst guaranteeing virgin-equivalent quality. As Pioneer Members, these companies will have guaranteed access to a percentage share of initial Worn Again Technologies’ circular PET and cellulose outputs to use in their supply chains, which will prove a competitive advantage in the coming decade as demand for circular supply resources rises. Additionally, this group will be offered pre-market access to developments and engagement in industry trials on the outputs during the scaling phase.

The creation of the Pioneer Members’ programme marks a defining moment for brands and Worn Again Technologies. Now, future outputs of this innovative process have official entry to brands, retailers, products and consumers, bringing us closer to the circularity of raw materials for textiles. As Worn Again Technologies continues its rapid developments, it calls for forward-thinking brands to join now and be amongst the next to reap the rewards of this industry-advancing innovation.

“From the early days of development, we knew that working with strategic partners would be the most effective way to bring our vision to reality. We have been building the technology and the infrastructure for this solution over the last eight years, but the brands and companies selling products will play a huge role in enabling us to deliver circular resources to the global textiles industry” says Cyndi Rhoades, CEO and Founder of Worn Again Technologies.

Worn Again Technologies is proud to welcome each Pioneer Member into the programme, recognising their individual commitments to creating a more sustainable and truly circular industry. H&M Group pledges that by 2030, the group “aims for 100% recycled, or other sustainably sourced materials” and Kering holds a commitment to “ensure 100% traceability of key raw materials by 2025”. ASICS Europe also has ambitious future targets committing to replace all conventional polyester used in apparel and footwear upper materials with recycled alternatives by 2030.

Dhana, which has signed 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment by Global Fashion Agenda, Dibella (supported by Lucky Textiles) and Sympatex (which met Worn Again Technologies via the Fashion for Good programme and LAUNCH Circular Innovators network, respectively) each also have circularity as a core business driver with ambitions to make an impact to their industry sectors. Through becoming a Worn Again Technologies Pioneer Member and having access to this ground- breaking technology, these companies are now one step closer to achieving their circularity goals.

The establishment of the Pioneer Members’ programme reaffirms each company as part of the solution to eradicate waste and Worn Again Technologies welcomes discussions with like-minded businesses who share its pioneering vision.

 

Quotes from the Pioneers

Erik Karlsson, Investment Manager for Sustainable Fashion at H&M said of the new programme, “We are proud of the collaboration we have with Worn Again Technologies. H&M Group looks forward to being an early adopter of the outputs and integrate them into our supply chain. This will be an important step towards our goal of using only recycled and sustainably sourced materials by 2030.”

Romy Miltenburg, Manager CSR & Sustainability EMEA at ASICS, said: “ASICS is dedicated to sport and its healthy contribution to society. Our goal is to create products that not only help people to live happier and healthier lives, but also leave our planet safe and sound. Through this partnership with Worn Again Technologies, we are one step closer to our goal of creating a circular business model.”

“Each year, mountains of clothing end-up on garbage landfills or they are incinerated, even using open fires in many countries. For us, putting an end to this unacceptable environmental burden caused by our industry is more than just a moral commitment. We see in it also an abundance of raw material sources that can be utilized in the future, thanks also to our technology partners who we have targeted and sought out. With wear2wear, FRIVEP and Worn Again Technologies, we have now acquired enough experience to start scaling up our lighthouse projects,” said Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO of Sympatex Technologies.

Ralf Hellmann, CEO of Dibella explains: “If we take current planetary boundaries and climate targets into consideration, it becomes clear that a circular use of resources must be targeted as basis for corporate policy. In cooperation with strategically relevant partners, we can perfectly solve this future task. We therefore decided to join the Worn Technologies’ Pioneer Members’ programme that will allow us to develop circular textiles using resources that can go back into new products as part of a repeatable process at the same product quality”.

Shamini Dhana, Founder and CEO of Dhana Inc. says, “Our commitment to the principles of circular fashion encompasses the adoption of new streams of waste-to-fibre technology which is exactly what Worn Again Technologies provides – a solution to today’s most sought after challenge – the need to divert and convert millions of pounds of textile waste from the landfill into valuable commodities and economic opportunity.”

– Ends –

 

 

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About Worn Again Technologies

Worn Again Technologies was founded in East London in 2005, with a vision to enable the circularity of raw materials. Today its pioneering polymer recycling technology is being brought to life by world-class scientists and strategic partners who have a shared ambition to fast track this vision. Worn Again Technologies has the support of influential brands and partners, such as H&M and Kering, as well as angel investor Craig Cohon, previously a senior executive of The Coca Cola Company and owner of Cirque du Soleil Russia, whose confidence in the potential of this technology has been invaluable.

Worn Again Technologies is also a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circular Economy 100 and a project partner for Circle Economy’s Fibersort project which is a technology used to automatically sort large volumes of textiles by fibre type. In November 2017, Worn Again Technologies was invited to become part of the Fashion for Good scaling programme which offers access to a network of business advisors and industry experts, enabling it to accelerate the development and future adoption of its revolutionary polymer recycling technology.

In 2018, the company was awarded a grant to become the first chemical recycling technology to be Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified. The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard assesses a product through five quality categories – material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness. The grant goes towards the official assessment process of these categories by an independent assessor and will certify the product being produced in licensed plants.

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