Fashion Industry Leaders Unite in Fiber-To-Fiber Consortium

PVH Corp. has joined the Fiber-To-Fiber Consortium founded by Carbios, On, Patagonia, PUMA, and Salomon to support the industrial scale development of Carbios’ unique biorecycling process. This collaboration aims to set new global standards for textile recycling technologies to accelerate the transition of the textile industry towards a circular economy.

Carbios is a pioneer in the development and industrialization of biological technologies that reinvent the life cycle of plastics and textiles. Its breakthrough biological recycling technology is designed to recycle blended feedstocks, reducing extensive sorting required by current thermomechanical recycling methods. Carbios’ patented enzyme acts solely on the PET polyester found within mixed fiber textile materials, creating recycled PET (r-PET), which is equivalent in quality to virgin PET. This r-PET can be used to produce new textile fibers.

Globally, only 13% of textile waste is currently recycled, and mainly in lower quality applications such as padding, insulation, or rags. The remaining 87% is destined for landfill or incineration. To improve textile recycling technologies, Consortium members will supply feedstock in the form of apparel, underwear, footwear, and sportswear. In 2023, a new line for textile PET waste will be operational at Carbios’ demonstration facility via the “LIFE Cycle of PET” project co-funded by the European Union. This comes in anticipation of future regulations, such as the separate collection of textile waste, which will be made mandatory in Europe from 1 January 2025.

Carbios, On, Patagonia, PUMA, PVH Corp., and Salomon will collaborate to test and enhance Carbios’ breakthrough biological recycling technology on their own products. The aim of the consortium is to prove fiber-to-fiber closed circularity using Carbios’ biorecycling process at an industrial scale, in support of the Consortium members’ ambitious sustainability commitments. The existing members voted unanimously for PVH Corp. to join the Consortium stating: “The aim of our consortium is to support the development of actionable solutions that address the fashion industry’s contribution to climate change, and PVH Corp. can bring a broader perspective to the project, which is always welcome.”

The ultimate goal is to create new products from Carbios’ r-PET fibers produced using its biorecycling process. “Partnering with Carbios and its consortium members demonstrates our ongoing commitment to including more circular materials in our collections,” said Esther Verburg, EVP, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe. “We are excited to support the development of Carbios’ enzymatic recycling technology, leveraging new solutions that can help us to drive fashion forward for good.”

“The Carbios belief is that we can achieve more as a collective. That’s why we rally forces with our Consortiums to advance our unique technology and ultimately switch to a more sustainable industry, benefiting citizens and the environment,” commented Emmanuel LADENT, Chief Executive Officer of Carbios. “We are delighted to welcome PVH Corp. to join our Consortium with other prestigious brands to advance our shared vision of true circularity for the textile industry.”