Australian environmental technology startup Samsara Eco and renowned athletic apparel brand lululemon have embarked on an innovative partnership aimed at revolutionizing textile recycling. Spanning multiple years, this groundbreaking collaboration will propel circularity in the industry by creating the world’s first infinitely recycled nylon 6,6 and polyester. By harnessing textile waste from lululemon’s apparel, Samsara Eco’s pioneering technology will address the pressing challenge of textile waste and significantly reduce the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels, while combating plastic pollution and curbing carbon emissions.
Nylon and polyester collectively constitute around 60 per cent of the clothing produced today. Shockingly, a staggering 87% of discarded textiles globally end up in landfills, get incinerated, or seep into the environment, as until now, no effective recycling method existed. Samsara Eco’s breakthrough innovation marks a crucial milestone in tackling this environmental crisis, as it now has the capability to break down mixed apparel derived from plastic into its core molecules. These molecules can be harnessed to recreate brand-new apparel repeatedly, forming a closed-loop system that perpetuates circularity and sustainability.
Paul Riley, CEO and Founder of Samsara Eco, expressed pride in the partnership’s disruptive impact on the apparel industry. The ability to infinitely recycle textiles, including nylon, represents an essential solution to combat the enormous challenge of textile waste. Working alongside lululemon, Samsara Eco will enzymatically recycle nylon and accelerate the transition towards textile-to-textile recycling, thereby driving the industry closer to achieving true circularity. This milestone achievement allows for the environmentally friendly recycling of blended textiles, encompassing both nylon and polyester.
Yogendra Dandapure, Vice President of Raw Materials Innovation at lululemon, highlighted nylon as a significant opportunity to meet the company’s sustainable product goals by 2030. The partnership with Samsara Eco exemplifies the power of collective innovation in addressing unmet needs. Through Samsara Eco’s patented enzymatic process, they are actively transforming apparel waste into high-quality nylon and polyester, contributing to lululemon’s end-to-end vision of circularity.
Notably, this collaboration marks lululemon’s first-ever minority investment in a recycling company, signifying their commitment to driving positive change in the industry. Likewise, it represents Samsara Eco’s first partnership within the apparel sector, building upon their successful $56 million Series A funding round last year. With the backing and investment from lululemon, Samsara Eco is poised for commercialization and aims to unlock the potential of infinite recycling within the fashion industry. This significant milestone aligns with Samsara Eco’s ambitious roadmap to recycle 1.5 million tonnes of plastic annually by 2030, making a substantial impact on the planet’s environmental well-being.
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