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 1-million-euro ($1.16 million) prize for new techniques to recycle clothes, Chief Executive Karl-Johan Persson said. “No company, fast-fashion or not, can continue exactly like today,” Persson said. “The (prize’s) largest potential lies with finding new technology that means we can recycle the fibres with unchanged quality.” As population pressure mounts, retailers like H&M are concerned about potential future shortages of cotton, which is heavily water and pesticide dependent.
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