Each year, some 85% of all textiles are sent to landfills. Sweden-based Renewcell is tackling that problem with Circulose, a natural and biodegradable raw material made by recovering cotton from worn-out clothes. The process—powered by renewable energy—uses eco-friendly chemicals to break down and strip color from incoming fabrics that might otherwise be discarded. Then, synthetic fibers are removed, leaving behind a sheet of cellulose pulp, which can be turned into like-new textile fibers that are ready to be woven into fresh fabric. In the spring, H&M became the first retailer to sell clothes made from Circulose fabric, with Levi’s following close behind. —Megan McCluskey

Buy now: Renewcell Circulose

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at