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PARIS — Zara parent company Inditex has committed to buying 70 million euros worth of Ambercycle’s textile-to-textile recycled polyester material Cycora over the next three years.

The duo are kicking off the partnership by launching items made with 50 percent Cycora in the Zara Athleticz range, the brand’s technical activewear range for men.

The purchase agreement will bolster Ambercycle’s building of its first commercial-scale production facility, which is expected to come online in around 2025, and will amount to a significant portion of their annual production.

The agreement further cements the relationship between the two companies.

Inditex was part of Ambercycle’s $21.6 million funding round in January 2022, alongside other fast-fashion players including H&M, Jack & Jones and Vero Moda parent company Bestseller, and Zalando, as well as investment funds. Inditex also owns the Berhska, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear brands, among others.

The move will help the group move toward its nebulous goal of having 25 percent of its textile fibers from next-gen materials by 2030, which Inditex admits “do not yet exist at an industrial scale.” Backing the Cycora factory will help fill that fabric pipeline.

“Ambercycle’s goal is to enable circularity by replacing virgin polyester with textile-to-textile regenerated Cycora. Our partnership with Inditex represents a monumental leap toward realizing circularity at scale in the fashion industry,” said Ambercycle chief executive officer Shay Sethi.

“We want to drive innovation to scale up new solutions, processes and materials to achieve textile-to-textile recycling,” said Inditex chief sustainability officer Javier Losada. “Ambercycle’s ground-breaking molecular regeneration technology transforms end-of-life textiles into new materials, effectively reducing waste and emissions in the production cycle.”

Courtesy Inditex

Ambercycle uses molecular regeneration technology by separating and purifying post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste for reuse.  

Textile-to-textile recycling has been a challenge for the fashion industry so far. The majority of non-virgin polyester comes from PET recycled plastic bottles turned into textiles. Critics say that takes the popular bottles out of the closed-loop system in which they can be recycled at least 10 times.

In 2022, Inditex backed two cellulose-based textile recyclers, signing a 100 million euro purchase agreement with Infinited Fiber Co., and participating in a $30 million series B funding round for Circ.