Spotlight On: H&M Group Launches “Circulator”

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By 2025, Global Fashion Agenda’s Strategic Partner, H&M Group, aims for 100% of its brands’ products to be designed for circularity – from the drawing board all the way through the multiple loops of a circular ecosystem.


The ‘Circulator’

To help meet these ambitions, H&M Group has previewed the innovative circular design tool, “Circulator”, not only enabling its own teams to create according to the principles of a circular economy, but also incentivising others to follow suit in the long-term as it becomes available for the entire industry to use.

The Circulator has been developed alongside a number of expert organisations including member of our Innovation and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Consisting of two parts, the Circulator helps close the loop on fashion by providing both a downloadable guide and a digital scoring tool. The tool will guide users through the materials, components and design strategies most suitable for the product based on its purpose. The tool then scores all the components on their environmental impact, durability and recyclability, taking into account everything from material to fabric treatments. Following this, the product is then assigned a Circular Product Score, where you are guided how to alter the product accordingly, to make it even more fit for a circular system.

Whilst H&M Group acknowledges that the way fashion is produced and consumed today needs to change, it asserts that there are other large-scale changes needed to address the fashion industry’s impacts too, including designing differently and collaboration. To cultivate co-creation and collective insights, H&M Group will collate the feedback from the first launch of the downloadable guide in autumn 2021 to contribute to the development of the scoring tool which will be launched in the coming years.  H&M Group has been collaborating with industry partners such as other members of our Strategic Partner Group – PVH Corp. and ASOS – to help drive ambitions through industry collaborations. The Circulator will become available for any brand, designer or product development team to use, learn and improve.

Aiding customers in prolonging the lifecycle of their clothes has long since been on H&M Group’s agenda, but circular thinking starts before that. According to H&M Group, approx. 70% of the environmental impact from products is determined at the design stage. Its various brands in-house design teams share the common mission to create new and inspiring designs that will in turn allow customers to enjoy fashion in a more sustainable way. These decisions need to be integrated throughout the entire design process of garments, considering environmental impact, durability and recyclability. This process is supported and streamlined by the new Circulator tool.

Read more about the tool here.


The Innovation Circular Design Story collection

On 9 December 2021, H&M launched a complete collection of clothes, designed with the help of the tool. The Innovation Circular Design Story collection is the latest addition to H&M’s Innovation stories and is made to be treasured, shared, repaired, and recycled.

New fabrics and innovations are the stars of the latest collection, including: REPREVE® Our Oceans®, fibres sourced from bottles collected from shorelines and coastal areas. Resortecs®, a dissolvable sewing thread for attaching sequins and beads – allowing garments to easily be taken apart and recycled at the end of their life. Vegea™, an innovative vegan material partly made from grape skins, stalks and seeds discarded during wine making process – making for an alternative to leather. And Cycora® by Ambercycle, a fabric that makes use of old garments and end-of-life textile waste.

Read more about the collection here.

H&M Group is one of Global Fashion Agenda’s Strategic Partners. Find out more about our partners HERE.

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