Hennes & Mauritz are offering a prize of one million euros to identify techniques to recycle clothes, because of an imminent shortage of raw materials. Could such a prize in the construction and property management industries help to increase recycling rates, improve the energy efficiency of buildings and find new sources of innovation?
Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, is launching an effort to promote recycling as it seeks to cut its environmental impact, boost its ethical credentials and address looming shortages of raw materials. The move comes as critics point out the damage being caused by a throwaway culture fuelled by cheap clothing that has seen a sharp rise in the number of garments sold annually around the world. Sweden’s H&M, which is launching a line of jeans containing recycled cotton next week, will offer an annual €1m ($1.16m) prize for new techniques to recycle clothes, its chief executive, Karl-Johan Persson, said.