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H&M Foundation launches Planet First program with HKRITA

By Robyn Turk

8 Dec 2020

Fashion

The H&M Foundation is extending an existing partnership with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) for five more years to launch a new initiative called the Planet First program.

The program aims to find truly sustainable solutions for the fashion industry through various projects. H&M said that it has already invested 100 million dollars to reach a "planet positive fashion industry."

One of the first Planet First projects is an experiment using clean, toxic-free cellulose powder to make garments. This project is being carried out with Indian apparel manufacturer Shahi.

Additionally, the H&M Foundation and HKRITA are working to create an open factory lab for innovators, researchers, suppliers and brands to come together to test new ideas and scale faster. The lab will be opened in Hong Kong, with more details to be revealed next year.

“We don’t know what a planet positive fashion industry will look like, no one does," said Erik Bang, the H&M Foundation's innovation lead, in a press release. "This goal is directional and requires innovation and thinking outside the box in every step of the fashion value chain. By signing up for five more years with HKRITA, we not only dip our toes but take the plunge with this partnership to figure this out, and we look forward to making the Planet First program a revolutionary one.”

Image: H&M Group