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Inditex, the parent company of Zara, will purchase recycled polyester from a US-based start-up.
Europe Technology

Inditex, the parent company of Zara, will purchase recycled polyester from a US-based start-up.

Inditex, the parent company of Zara and the largest clothing retailer globally, has made a deal to purchase recycled polyester from a American start-up. This is in line with their goal of having 25% of their fibers sourced from innovative materials by 2030.

As fast-fashion retailers face pressure to reduce waste and use recycled fabrics, Inditex is spending more than $74 million to secure supply from Los Angeles-based Ambercycle of its recycled polyester made from textile waste.

Polyester, a byproduct of the petroleum industry, is heavily utilized in athletic clothing due to its fast-drying and long-lasting properties.

At a business event in Zaragoza, Spain, Inditex CEO Oscar Garcia Maceiras announced that under the offtake agreement, Inditex will be purchasing 70% of Ambercycle’s recycled polyester production for their brand, cycora. This deal will span over a three-year period.

Garcia Maceiras stated that Inditex is collaborating with other businesses and start-ups through its innovation hub, which aims to find solutions for reducing the environmental effects of its merchandise.

According to him, achieving sustainable change within Inditex requires the cooperation of various parties involved.

Ambercycle will be receiving financial support from Inditex to establish a large-scale factory for recycling textiles. The factory is projected to start producing cycora by 2025 and Inditex plans to incorporate this material into their products within the next three years.

On Wednesday, Zara Athleticz, a sub-brand of men’s sportswear, released a new collection called “technical pieces” that incorporates up to 50% cycora. The collection will be sold on, according to Inditex.

Certain clothing companies are attempting to decrease their dependence on new polyester by using recycled polyester made from plastic bottles. However, this approach has faced scrutiny due to its contribution to a higher demand for used plastic bottles, resulting in price increases.

The process of recycling polyester from textiles is still in its early stages and will require time to be adopted by major fashion brands worldwide.

According to a statement from Inditex’s chief sustainability officer Javier Losada, our goal is to promote innovation in order to expand the use of new solutions, processes, and materials for textile recycling.

Inditex has recently invested in several textile recycling start-ups, including the latest Ambercycle deal.

In the previous year, the company entered into a three-year contract worth $104 million to purchase 30% of the recycled fiber produced by Infinited Fiber Co. in Finland. It also made an investment in Circ, a U.S. company that specializes in recycling textiles for textile production.

In an effort to address the upcoming EU legislation mandating separate collection of textile waste starting in January 2025, Inditex has partnered with competitors such as H&M and Mango to form an association dedicated to managing clothing waste in Spain.