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Outdoor apparel makers back recycling initiative

Jul 6, 2022
Illustration of a shirt tag printed with an Earth icon

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Carbios, a French end-of-life plastics recycling company, is partnering with outdoor apparel makers On, Patagonia, Puma and Salomon to develop recyclable polyester materials, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: All plastic-based textiles, and polyester in particular, are not recyclable and contribute to plastic pollution worldwide, so recyclable polyester holds promise.

State of play: The two-year partnership is a big get for Carbios, which is still developing a large-scale factory for its recycling technology.

  • Carbios can also attach itself to the cultural cachet of its new partners, which are publicly well regarded for their stances on environmental issues.
  • Carbios CEO Emmanuel Ladent declined to disclose the valuation or terms of the agreement.

How it works: Carbios will use the companies' product waste to create new textiles that are then used to create new products for each company, Ladent says.

  • Carbios uses enzymes to break down plastic-based fibers and reassembles them in a process Ladent says is "infinitely circular."

The intrigue: The partnership is part of Carbios' long-term R&D phase, with production slated to begin in 2025, Ladent says.

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