The Nature Bible


Wild Living

Spinning a yarn or pulling the wool over our eyes?





It's been a cold, dank January so far and either you're like me, swaddled in layers at the computer or maybe you're on Furlough again and clearing out cupboards in a 'New year, new me' mode? We've all got favourite jumpers that have either succumbed to moth holes too numerous to repair, or shrinkage by at least 3 sizes whilst washing. We can't wear them but are loathe to let them go, so what to do?


Hope is coming in the form of a machine which high street retailer H&M is currently offering customers in Sweden which literally transforms the old into the new. For 150 krona (£13) it will take one of your garments (only natural fibres) shred it, spin it into yarn and knit a new garment of your choice from jumpers to ponchos to scarves - or even a baby blanket. The whole process takes about 10 hours, during which time it also adds some Supina cotton to strengthen the yarn but doesn't add any water or dye. It's a circular solution. And they say, "To fight climate change, we need to change fashion."



At a time when less than 1% of the material used to make clothes is recycled, the development and roll-out of the machine has been welcomed, especially by critics of H&M whose price tags are low, although since 2013 they've been encouraging a 'global garment collecting business' and for every bag of old clothing returned to the shop, customers have been receiving a £5 voucher redeemable against their next £25 purchase.


The machine is a collaboration between the H&M Foundation, funded by the founders of H&M shops and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and is a miniature version of a recycling machine in Hong Kong that has the capacity to recycle 3 tonnes of clothing a day. It's hoped that both will 'catch on' worldwide and be introduced to the UK soon.