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Worn Again Technologies raises €8 million investment with help from H&M and Sulzer

©Worn Again Technologies

“It is a pivotal time for H&M, Sulzer and others to be investing in Worn Again Technologies.”

Technology licensing company Worn Again Technologies has secured up to €8 million in new equity capital from investors, including follow-on commitments from two of its existing strategic investors, H&M Group and Sulzer.

The company is developing what it calls a unique polymer recycling process that will enable raw materials in textiles and polyester packaging to be kept in constant circulation, driving economic, social and environmental benefits.

According to the company, this financial backing is a vote of confidence in the company’s enhanced recycling technology and proposed circular licensing business model, which promises to be crucial in closing the loop in the end-of-use polyester and polycotton/cellulose textile industry.

The investment provides over two years of operating capital and will be used to accelerate and complete the company’s fundamental technology development through the R&D phase. It will also provide the base financing required in the next phase of bringing the technology to market.

Through these ongoing strategic partnerships with two global industry players, Worn Again Technologies (@WornAgainUK) will benefit from the world-leading expertise of H&M Group’s (@hm) supply chain and consumer-facing business, as well as the advanced manufacturing and industrial capabilities of Sulzer Chemtech (@SulzerLtd).

Erik Karlsson, Investment Manager at H&M Group’s investment arm CO:LAB, said: “Having worked with Founder Cyndi Rhoades and the impressive team since 2013, we’re thrilled to continue our journey by further investing in Worn Again Technologies as they move into an exciting new phase towards commercialisation over the coming years. Their regenerative recycling technology not only aligns perfectly with the H&M group’s vision to become fully circular, but also has the potential to benefit the entire industry.”

Torsten Wintergerste, Division President Chemtech of Sulzer, stated: “Sulzer has a clear strategic direction towards sustainable businesses. With our unequalled application know-how and process equipment, Sulzer Chemtech is the leader in separation technologies and the innovation we bring to the table is a game changer for circular economy. Worn Again Technologies building recycling plants with our components represents for Sulzer a proud contribution to a greener future of textile industry. It complements our overall strategic drive to deliver innovative green process solutions like bio-polymers (e.g. PLA) and recycling technologies to the market.”

Keith Wiggins, recently appointed CEO of Worn Again Technologies, commented: “It is a pivotal time for H&M, Sulzer and others to be investing in Worn Again Technologies. It shows that global industry leaders are behind our company’s unique technology which can replace the use of virgin resources by recapturing raw materials from non-reusable products.

“The investment is a considerable step forward in building momentum for Worn Again’s technology for the emerging circular economy.”

This announcement comes soon after the opening of the Worn Again Technologies pilot plant in January 2020. In addition to technology development, work is currently underway with end-of-use textile owners on the WA-Feedstock Specification, and engaging other potential stakeholders in preparation for the next phase of development which will focus on a larger demonstration facility, expected in 2021.

With essential support from investors and a strong scale-up plan, validation of the company’s innovation is on the horizon, a crucial step towards the industrialisation of this ground-breaking technology.

If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the ones below.

Read: Spotlight on bio-based textiles: #whatsinmyclothes – The truth behind the label

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Read: Expert view: Will ‘greenwashing’ work out to be good for textiles?

Read: Spotlight on bio-based textiles: How to make sure modern slavery is not embedded in your sustainable cotton products

Read: Deputy editor’s view: Cleaning out one’s closet 

Read: Spotlight on bio-based textiles: Regenerative materials sourced from plants, not petroleum-based synthetic plastics

Read:  Introducing bio-based and sustainable components to long-standing supply chains.

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