News article

H&M Group and IKEA collaborates on large-scale study within recycled textiles

During the 2019 Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference H&M Group and IKEA announced a collaboration on a large-scale study, reviewing chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling. Increased utilization of recycled materials in products is one of the key elements in H&M Group’s ambition to become 100% circular and renewable.

H&M Group is working strategically to reach our sustainability ambitions, using science and partnerships to help us lead the change towards a circular and climate positive fashion industry. The chemical content of collected pre-owned textiles are unknown, so to ensure the safe reuse of materials in the circular system, we must ensure good chemical management. A large-scale study looking at chemical content in post-consumer textile recycling, conducted between H&M Group and IKEA, has therefore been underway since May 2018.    

“Recycled materials are key elements in a circular economy. However, increasing the use of recycled materials whilst ensuring that we keep these textiles free of toxic chemicals presents a challenge for the industry. We’re pleased to announce that H&M Group and IKEA have joined forces in a study to address this challenge”.

Anna Biverstål, Global Business Expert on Materials at H&M Group


The yearly Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference gathers companies and organizations from more than 25 countries, and provides the perfect setting to present the joint efforts made to address this challenge. Anna Biverstål, H&M Group’s Global Business Expert on Materials and Nils Månsson, Materials and Innovation Deployment Manager at IKEA Range and Supply, presented the study and shared some initial findings with the industry.

“By sharing initial findings from the study, we can create awareness and a new understanding to review the entire value chain of textiles, from production and consumption, towards recycling”. 

Linn Farhadi, Project Leader Recycled Textiles at H&M Group


With over 8,000 tests conducted on collected recyclable textiles, H&M Group and IKEA will have better possibilities to develop an action plan for the use of recycled textiles, while meeting our strict safety standards. The ambition for the study is also to use the findings to encourage industry peers towards increased use of recycled textiles. The results gathered could potentially also serve as a base for further legislation and standardization regarding chemicals in recycled textiles.

The initial focus for the study has been post-consumer cotton, with polyester and wool rich post-consumer textiles to be included as the study progresses.

Collaborations and data sharing within and across industries is key to enable real, positive change. This joint study between H&M Group and IKEA serves as a great example of this approach.