Have You Heard Of Syre?

  • by Vivienne Austin

Straight after the demise of Renewcell, which we’ve extensively talked about in our article last week, we’re already witnessing new material solutions popping up into the market. It seems as if there’s no rest time on the textile innovation front and Syre is taking the centre stage now.

Initiated by Vargas and H&M Group, the Stockholm-based company Syre has launched with a mission to revolutionise the textiles industry by decarbonising and eliminating textile waste through large-scale textile-to-textile recycling, starting with polyester. Supported by a pioneering offtake supply agreement with H&M Group, Syre aims to establish several production plants worldwide to create their circular polyester, significantly reducing CO2e emissions compared to traditional oil-based polyester production. The company has committed to providing circular polyester (cPET) that matches the quality of oil-based virgin polyester while offering superior sustainability, reducing CO2e emissions by up to 85%.



Polyester currently accounts for about 20% of H&M's materials, while viscose makes up less than 5%. In line with H&M Group's goal of having all materials recycled or sustainably sourced by 2030, with a target of 30% recycled materials by 2025, the company aims to achieve 50% recycled materials by 2030. To secure a stable supply of recycled polyester, H&M has entered a $600 million take-or-pay deal with Syre for the next seven years. This agreement, common in long-term contracts, commits the buyer to a minimum purchase, ensuring a reliable income for the seller and guaranteeing demand. This strategic move mirrors the strategy of Swedish investor Vargas, which requires customer commitments and purchase agreements to support investments in businesses focused on reducing carbon emissions in major industries. 


The first Syre production plant is underway in North Carolina, USA, with plans to be operational by 2024. The manufacturing process will then be expanded globally, starting in Asia and Europe, with a goal of having 12 gigascale plants producing over 3 million metric tons of circular polyester within a decade. By 2032, Syre plans to produce over 3 million metric tons of circular polyester annually, cutting more than 15 million metric tons of CO2e. Although Syre is focusing on getting circular polyester up and running in the market, their platform is versatile and may even explore other fibres and technologies in the future. 


Despite the turmoil caused by Renewcell's bankruptcy, there’s still significant progress going on in the textile recycling industry. From Gap teaming up with Ambercycle to introduce its recycled polyester, cycora®, into Athleta products starting in 2026, to H&M investing $600 million in Syre. Still, Renewcell is being resilient and is still seeking new ownership, while Canopy, an environmental positive partner, is organising a webinar to generate more interest in Renewcell’s Circulose.


While these advances in recycling are positive, the fashion industry still struggles with overproduction and overconsumption, highlighting the need for continued improvement. Of course, what is more important is that fashion brands start to back these textile innovations and start buying them and working them into their permanent collections. 


[information sourced on innovationintextiles.com and thesustainablefashionforum.com

All images sourced on canva.com]


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