Debrand, a Vancouver-based reverse logistics textile solutions provider, has announced that it has received a strategic investment from WM, North America’s largest environmental solutions provider. This is the first strategic investment made by WM in textile recycling.
Leveraging Debrand’s expertise and technology, Houston-based WM expects to offer new textile recycling capabilities for its customers and provide circular solutions across North America. The investment positions Debrand for expansive growth. The terms of the investment agreement were not disclosed.
With a reputation for exceptional service and innovations, Debrand specializes in reverse logistics for the fashion and retail industry. The company’s customers include Lululemon Athletica, Canada Goose, Aritzia, Kit and Ace, IKEA Canada and Everlane.
“We work with our customers to unlock the highest value for their products by extending the products’ life through reuse or recycling,” Debrand co-founder Amelia Eleiter says. “Not only will WM’s investment allow us to integrate our solutions at scale across North America, but we will also be able to empower new and existing customers to run efficient and profitable circular systems.”
This year, Debrand is projected to divert nearly 1,000 tons of used textiles—a year-over-year growth of 125 percent—from landfills through resale, recycling and repurposing channels. The investment from WM will accelerate Debrand’s plans to grow its operations, capabilities, customer network and team in support of existing and new customers.
“Our customers are looking for ways to reduce waste from their operations, enhance their sustainability reporting and accelerate the transition to a circular economy,” said WM Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Solutions Eric Dixon says. “WM, in turn, is continuing to adapt to meet these needs and become a true sustainability partner to our customers. After working with Debrand, we recognized the immense value of their cutting-edge textile allocation technology that has enabled us to enhance sortation and divert our customers’ textile waste from landfills into circular solutions.
More than 17 million tons of textile waste are generated annually, and Dixon says WM’s investment will help scale textile recyclability across the nation.
Significant demand and growth are expected for Debrand’s reverse logistics textile solutions in response to climate change and the movement toward a circular economy. The fashion industry is one of the highest producers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, and a growing number of brands have committed to adopting circular strategies to reduce GHG emissions that derive from producing fibers and raw materials. World leaders and organizations, such as NATO, have pledged their commitment to reducing emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030. Consumers and regulators are putting pressure on companies to embrace circular business models to alleviate the burden on already stressed natural resources and move towards a sustainable future.
“I am excited and honored that WM has made this investment in our company, team and technology,” a Eleiter says. “With their support, we will be able to scale our business and help even more companies transform the way they process returned and surplus inventory by eliminating waste and inefficiencies and prioritizing reuse, recycle and resale opportunities.”