Worn Again Technologies, a fashion tech startup, has secured up to €8 million in new equity capital from a group of investors including H&M Group and Sulzer.
The investment will be used to accelerate the development of the company’s enhanced recycling technology and proposed circular licensing business model. It follows the opening of a pilot research and development (R&D) facility in the North East of England earlier this year.
“It is a pivotal time for H&M, Sulzer, and others to be investing in Worn Again Technologies,” said Keith Wiggins, recently appointed CEO of Worn Again.
“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.”
The start-up’s technology, currently under development, could be crucial in closing the loop in the end-of-use polyester and polycotton/cellulose textile industry. The focus is on inventing a new recycling method that will enable raw materials in textiles and polyester packaging to be kept in constant circulation.
The investment provides over two years of operating capital, which will be used to accelerate the R&D phase and kickstart the next phase of bringing the technology to market.
Worn Again said the strategic partnerships with H&M and Sulzer Chemtech will also give it access to their world-leading supply chain expertise and manufacturing capabilities.
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 commercialization 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.”
In addition to the pilot plant, which opened in January, Worn Again Technologies is planning to open a demonstration facility in 2021.