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Zara owner commits €70 million to recycled polyester

Ambercycle’s Cycora is created from end-of-life textiles.

27th October 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Spain

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Inditex, the Spanish owner of the leading Zara brand, has formed a strategic partnership with Ambercycle, a Los Angeles-based material science company, to help scale textile-to-textile recycled polyester.

As part of the agreement, Inditex has signed a three-year agreement to buy a significant portion of the annual production of Ambercycle’s cycora – a material made from post-industrial and post-consumer polyester waste – with a value of more than €70 million.

The purchase commitment will be key to supporting the construction of Ambercycle’s first commercial-scale textile regeneration factory. The scaled application of Ambercycle’s molecular regeneration technology will make circular materials more widely available and accessible in fashion’s supply chain. Production of cycora at Ambercycle’s new commercial plant is expected to begin around 2025 and will continue to be incorporated in Inditex product offerings over the following three years.

Inditex aims to have 100% of its textile products made exclusively from materials with a smaller environmental footprint by 2030. As part of this commitment, the group expects to have 25% of the textile fibres made from next-generation materials that do not yet exist at an industrial scale. Cycora, a regenerated polyester created from end-of-life textiles, seamlessly replaces conventional polyester.

As part of the agreement, Zara Athleticz is launching its first capsule collection in collaboration with Ambercycle, featuring technical pieces crafted with up to 50% cycora content.

“Ambercycle aims to enable circularity by replacing virgin polyester with textile-to-textile regenerated cycora, “ explained Shay Sethi, CEO of Ambercycle. “Our partnership represents a monumental leap towards realising circularity at scale in the fashion industry.”

“At Inditex, we are committed to achieving circularity in the fashion industry,” added Javier Losada, Inditex CSO. “We want to drive innovation to scale up new solutions, processes and materials. Ambercycle’s molecular regeneration technology transforms end-of-life textiles into new materials, effectively reducing waste and emissions in the production cycle.”

The collaboration is part of the Inditex Sustainability Innovation Hub – a platform that works alongside start-ups, academic institutions and tech centres to promote and scale new materials, technologies and processes that reduce the environmental footprint of fashion products and help move towards more sustainable and circular solutions.

Each new proposal is evaluated considering its impact on social aspects, circularity, biodiversity and animal welfare, in addition to undergoing an environmental life cycle analysis (LCA). The LCA covers sixteen different impacts in areas such as emissions, water and land use.

www.ambercycle.com

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