Inditex, the parent company of fast fashion giant Zara, has partnered with a Los Angeles-based material science company to buy recycled polyester, the company announced Wednesday.
Inditex entered a three-year agreement with Ambercycle, a company which developed a material, called Cycora, made from post-industrial and post-consumer polyester waste. Inditex is buying a “significant portion” of the annual production of Cycora for more than 70 million euros, or about $74 million at current exchange.
The deal is meant to help scale the production of textile-to-textile recycled polyester and help Ambercycle support its first commercial-scale textile regeneration factory, which is expected to begin producing the material around 2025. The material will continue to be in Inditex’s product offerings over the following three years, per the release.
Zara Athleticz is also launching a limited-edition collection that features pieces made with 50% Cycora content. The capsule is available starting Wednesday on Zara’s e-commerce site.
Inditex, which in addition to Zara owns Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka, among others, stated it has a goal of making 100% of its textile products from “materials with a smaller environmental footprint” by 2030. The company also stated that Cycora “seamlessly replaces” conventional polyester and that it expects that 25% of textile fibers made from next-generation materials that “do not yet exist at an industrial scale.”
The project is part of the company’s Sustainability Innovation Hub, which works with startups, academic institutions and tech centers on new materials, technology and processes intended to reduce the environmental footprint of fashion.
Previously within the Innovation Hub, Zara partnered with LanzaTech to capture and reuse carbon dioxide emissions from industrial and agricultural processes for fibers to maintain properties similar to virgin polyester in terms of “quality, performance and care.”
Ambercycle, which was founded in 2015, recently collaborated with Kozaburo for a collection at New York Fashion Week, which also featured the Cycora material. In 2022, the company closed a $21.6 million Series A financing round led by H&M Co: Lab. It had a total of $27 million in funding to date.