H&M’s Looop machine turns your old sock into trendy fashion pieces

H&M Looop

As the world is becoming more serious about sustainability, more and more companies have started implementing their own strategies. H&M recently gave a fashionable twist to the whole thing. Their Looop machine can literally transform your old socks into a brand new top.

The looop machine is part of an interesting recycling system to fight the ever growing mountain of discarded clothing. Last month H&M gave customers in one of its Stockholm stores a peak behind the curtains to witness the magic of the machine first hand.

H&M Looop recycling machine
Image: H&M

From socks to threads to magic

So what does Looop actually do? The system follows several steps to turn the clothes you’re finished with into new ones. First the old garment is fed to the machine, where it’s sprayed with ozone to remove any microorganisms. Next the machine shreds the discarded clothing into small fabric fibers and filters out leftover dirt. Extra virgin material is added for strength and multiple fiber slivers are then combined to create thicker slivers. The sticker slivers are then spun into a single yarn threads, which are then doubled and twisted together to make the material stronger. Then comes the last and most interesting step: the newly formed yarn is knitted into a brand new piece of clothing.

Sustainable fashion industry

The Looop machine is part of H&M’s bigger plan to lead the change towards a sustainable fasion industry. In 2013 the company became the first retailer with a global garment collecting program. Looop is the next step and is a collaboration between the non-profit H&M Foundation and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel. By 2030 the fashion retailer aims for all their materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way.

H&M Looop machine
Image: H&M

Closet version please

At the moment Looop is available for Swedish customers. Members of H&M’s loyalty club can transform their old garments into new fashion finds for 100 Swedish kronor, which is about 11 USD. Non-members have to pay a bit more, but 17 USD is still pretty nice. So hopefully we’ll see Looop machines appearing all around the world. And who knows, maybe we’ll eventually even have a small version to get playing around with designs at home.

Another way to transform clothing into new finds is by using robotics and artificial intelligence. The Pangolin dress by Anouk Wipprecht changes shape and color according to your brainwaves.

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