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New partnerships see H&M delivering sustainability breakthrough in textile Dyeing

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Models showcase new H&M sustainable clothes range
New partnerships see H&M delivering a sustainable collection

Alchemie Technology, a global disruptor of textile dyeing and finishing technology, is pleased to announce investment from At One Ventures and H&M CO:LAB, H&M Group’s investment arm. The investment will support Alchemie’s commercial roll-out, aiming to accelerate the transformation of the sustainability profile of textile manufacturing worldwide. Textile dyeing is the second largest cause of water pollution globally and is the largest single contributor to carbon dioxide emissions from the textile industry. Today, it is responsible for over 3% of global CO2 emissions and forecast to increase to 10% by 2050.

The investment will enable Alchemie to accelerate the commercial roll-out of its digital manufacturing products in the global market: Endeavour™ smart waterless dyeing and Novara™ precision digital finishing, aiming to offer a lower cost and sustainable alternative to traditional textile processing in a time when fashion consumers are demanding more accountability from brands to reduce their environmental impact.

Alchemie’s Endeavour™ smart waterless dyeing technology allows garment manufacturers to eliminate the production of contaminated wastewater and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint from dyeing, reducing lead times and enabling lower minimum order sizes, alongside a 50% cost saving compared to traditional technologies.

“We are very pleased that At One Ventures and H&M CO:LAB have invested in Alchemie at this pivotal point in the commercial roll-out of our sustainable dyeing and finishing solutions. The textile manufacturing industry has a significant impact on the environment, and with our Endeavour and Novara technologies, we are disrupting manufacturing processes that are responsible for over 3% of global CO2 emissions and 20% of global water pollution. Our solutions both dramatically reduce the environmental impact and radically reduce cost for dyeing and finishing, which has proven to be a compelling combination in the global textile industry. We are building on the momentum we have generated in the market with successful commercial trials of our fabrics and are looking forward to rolling out the first global commercial installations this year.” – says Simon Kew, Managing Director of Alchemie Technology:

Nanna Andersen, Head of H&M CO:LAB, H&M Group says:

“Alchemie Technology is pioneering a truly breakthrough and cost-effective approach to solving a longstanding sustainability issue in the supply chain for textile products. We are excited to partner with Alchemie and support innovation that addresses some of the largest carbon footprint contributors of the textile industry: dyeing and finishing. The commercial implementation of their game-changing 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 textile industry.”

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Sustainability

John Boyega teams up with H&M for a sustainable menswear collection

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Actor John Boyega wearing his H&M collection
John Boyega won a Golden Globe for his performance in the film series Small Axe

British-Nigerian actor and producer John Boyega has teamed up with retailer H&M for a collection made using more sustainable materials.

Boyega is a Golden Globe winner who has earned recognition for his acting, but also for standing up for the changes he wants to see in the world, including actively participating in movements such as the Black Lives Matter protests in London. He has  joined forces with the Swedish fashion brand for a new menswear collection that strives to achieve sustainability and aims to celebrate the changemakers that try to do good for the world.

“I’m excited to collaborate with H&M on a collection that aligns my passions with purpose. Sustainability, to me, means thinking about longevity for the benefit of those coming after us. This collaboration has already birthed opportunities for fresh dynamic creatives. Two birds with one stone,” – celebrates the actor praised for his role as Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films and, most recently, for his Golden Globe winning performance in the film series Small Axe.

“John Boyega is a brave leader of a generation that’s speaking up for change, believing there’s a better way to treat each other and the planet. H&M is proud to team up with John for Edition by John Boyega, a contemporary, more sustainable collection for men” – says Ross Lydon, Head of Menswear Design at H&M.

The sustainable ‘Edition by John Boyega’ is made of organic cotton, as well as cotton recycled from textile-production waste or post-consumer waste. Nylons and polyesters are recycled, and the man-made fabric Tencel lyocell is created from sustainably sourced cellulose fibres. The collection will be available at hm.com and in selected stores.

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Sustainable energy from potato chips to heat up houses in Belgium

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Woman cutting potatoes in the kitchen
The initiative is part of an innovative project that repurposes heat from PepsiCo’s snack plant and transforms it into sustainable energy | Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

When Laurens Vandecasteele was looking for a new home in 2020, the Suikerpark neighborhood in Veurne, Belgium, topped his list. He was drawn to its modern architecture, lush community gardens, and winding bike paths. Plus, the parklike space was just five minutes from the PepsiCo snack foods plant in Veurne, where Vandecasteele works as Frontline Manager.

“The houses are on the site of a former sugar factory where my father worked for almost 42 years,” Vandecasteele says. “I like the connection to my past.”

Vandecasteele’s new home also has a tie to his present — Lay’s potato chips will soon be the source of its heat. “It’s nice to know that your own company has created a solution that can heat your home,” he says.

Suikerpark is part of an innovative project that repurposes heat from PepsiCo’s snack plant and transforms it into sustainable energy. The Veurne site cooks up to 20 tons of potatoes an hour, releasing heat vapor as a by-product. When real estate developer Ion wanted to find inventive environmental solutions for Suikerpark, PepsiCo proposed an idea: What if some of the heat released during the process of making chips could be put to use? With the help of partners Noven, who designed the technology, and Fluvius, the area’s utility grid operator, PepsiCo is making it happen.

“Using a condenser, we capture the vapor from cooking and heat a water circuit from 50°C up to 80°C,” – explains Frank De Clercq, Maintenance and Sustainability Manager at the Veurne snacks plant. From there, the heated water will be transported to the houses at Suikerpark, where it will flow through the central heating system into radiators and hot water taps. The first homes will be warmed with the technology in 2022. Once it’s complete, the project will heat a total of 500 houses using clean, sustainable energy.

PepsiCo has set targets to cut carbon emissions by more than 40% by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline) and achieve net zero emissions by 2040. The company has undertaken several ambitious projects to reach this goal; the Veurne project is yet another step. “The heat generated at the Veurne plant helps reach net zero emissions and replaces heat that would normally be sourced by burning natural gas,” De Clercq explains.

And, if the mayor of Veurne has his way, Suikerpark is just the beginning, “This heat network on the scale of a neighbourhood is unique and Suikerpark is the opportunity of a lifetime. This is a great project to introduce new concepts that can be brought to the rest of Veurne” says Peter Roose. As the technology develops, there is potential to expand the system to the local hospital and other public buildings in the future. The Veurne plant could potentially heat more than 2,000 homes.

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European airline introduces uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles

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Easy jet cabin crew wearing a sustainable uniforn
45 plastic bottles go into each of the new sustainable cabin crew and pilot uniforms adopted by EasyJet.

Budget airline EasyJet is introducing a new uniform for cabin crew and pilots, each made from approximately 45 recycled plastic bottles.

Manufactured by Northern-Ireland based company, Tailored Image, and created with unique high-tech material, the new uniform will be introduced into cabin crew circulation later this month. The roll-out across the airline is estimated to prevent around half a million plastic bottles from ending up as plastic waste each year.

The sustainable initiative makes a difference even before the first uniform is worn as, besides the fabric helping to reduce plastic waste, the high-tech material is made using renewable energy sources and has a 75% lower carbon footprint than traditional polyester.

The new fabric, adapted to the airline’s current style, was first trialled last year for suitability in the cabin and flight deck environments. Compared to their non-recycled alternative, it was found to be more abrasion-resistant. It also provides more elasticity, improving fit and freedom of movement.

Plastic has also been replaced in all clothing-related packaging in favour of recyclable and biodegradable materials: replacing plastic collar strays with recyclable cardboard ones, plastic shirt clips with metal shirt clips, non-recyclable white coated card with recyclable cardboard card, and polypropylene outer shirt covers with biodegradable shirt covers.

EasyJet has already taken steps to reduce plastic onboard as it continues to reduce the number of single-use plastic items used on its flights. The airline has replaced many items with more sustainable alternatives, such as introducing a small plant-based bowl as a teabag holder, removing over 27 million individual items of plastic from their inflight retail operation in the 2020 Financial Year, and the company has never offered plastic straws. They also offer a 50p discount on hot drinks for customers who bring their reusable cup.

“We are excited to be debuting this new pilot and cabin crew uniform made from recycled plastic bottles and to introduce it for our pilots and cabin crew colleagues. We know that sustainability is an important issue for them and also for our customers.

It is a priority for us to continue work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including zero-emission planes which aspire to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation radically.” – says Tina Milton, Director of Cabin Services at easyJet.

Since 2000, easyJet, who has over 300 aircrafts on nearly 1000 routes to more than 150 airports across 35 countries, has reduced the carbon emissions for each kilometre flown by a passenger by over a third. Initiatives have included introducing lightweight carpets, trolleys and seats, single-engine taxiing, and removing paper manuals from their aircraft.

In 2019, easyJet became the world’s first major airline to operate carbon neutral flights across its whole network by offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards, Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.

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