A leading global fashion chain has revealed it has created a new brand of sportwear which uses captured carbon emissions, in an effort to “move the needle of innovation”.
H&M Move has partnered with carbon capture company LanzaTech, to create garments partly from captured emissions and infusing them with the brand’s own DryMove™ technology — a trademarked material that pulls away moisture from the skin and keeps Movers comfortable and dry while moving.
“H&M Move is on a mission to democratise movewear and get the whole world and everybody moving,” it said in a statement. “While inspiring people to move and breaking down barriers to sport is one part of the brand formula, moving the needle with innovation is another.”
Headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, US, LanzaTech, transforms waste carbon into materials such as sustainable fuels, fabrics, packaging, and other products.
“Using a variety of waste feedstocks, LanzaTech’s technology platform highlights a future where consumers are not dependent on virgin fossil feedstocks for everything in their daily lives,” It added. “LanzaTech’s goal is to challenge and change the way the world uses carbon, enabling a new circular carbon economy where carbon is reused rather than wasted, skies and oceans are kept clean, and pollution becomes a thing of the past.”
“In collaboration with LanzaTech, we are thrilled to offer our customers a capsule collection made with CarbonSmart™ polyester, a ground-breaking material using repurposed carbon emissions,” added Simon Brown, General Manager at H&M Move. “This partnership enables H&M Move to explore innovative materials and playing our part in helping to create more sustainable sportswear in the future,”
Using three simple steps, LanzaTech captures carbon emissions from steel mills, traps them in bioreactors and converts them into the same building blocks that conventional polyester is made of. This revolutionary solution helps reduce pollution and limits the use of virgin fossil resources needed to make new products.
Jennifer Holmgren CEO of LanzaTech explained: “The innovations in the textile industry today focus on sustainability for a better world. We are proud to partner with H&M Move on this drop which reflects ways to rethink how we make and how we experience our clothing,
It comes shortly after Greenpeace highlighted the issues the fashion industry face to tackle its growing carbon and environmental footprint.
It pointed out that partly because of all this plastic use, and the energy needed to process it, the fashion industry produces 8–10% of global CO2 emissions (4–5 billion tonnes annually). Along with demand for polyester, this is set to rise.
It added the use of synthetic fabrics is a huge part of fashion’s role in climate change.
“Because polyester is basically plastic, it takes years to break down. Different synthetic fibres like polyester are often blended to make fabric, making them hard to separate,” It explained. “When it’s left to break down in landfills, it pollutes the air, soil, and water with plastic microfibres and hazardous chemicals.”
Greenpeace warned each year, half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres shed from washing plastic-based textiles such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic, ending up in the ocean. That’s the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
“Microplastics are everywhere – they moult off our fleeces into the air we breathe and drain out of our washing machines and into the oceans,” it added. “There’s clearly a huge problem here. These plastics not only pollute the environment – they are even getting into our bodies through water and food, with still unknown impacts on health.”
“Fashion should be about creativity and style, practicality and durability,” it added. “But fast fashion companies have made it all about newness.
“Companies push new trends endlessly and seasons now move faster than ever. Many of these items of clothing are simply made to become waste; to make way for the next brand-new batch of clothing.
“Some estimates reckon the fashion industry is producing 100 billion articles of clothing a year – some 40% more than could ever be bought and actually worn. This figure is likely to be underestimated, and outdated.”
Greenpeace said western nations send hundreds of millions of tonnes for clothes to developing nations such as Kenya, and despite the best efforts of the recycling systems in the countries there are simply too many clothes to be processed.
It has left some major clothing manufactures disposing of their excess stock by burning and given the use of plastics in many clothes it adds to the environmental impact.