How fashion can do better for people and the planet.

With purchasing practices that undercut the cost of production, big brands are shortchanging workers and undermining their own commitments to operate more responsibly, according to a new study.

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Virginia-based Circ, which has developed a heat and chemical process for recycling clothes made from polyester-cotton blends, said it would use the funding to accelerate building its facilities for industrial scale, with a view to bringing its first consumer products to market.

Nearly 1.7 million tonnes of used fabric were exported to other countries — primarily in Asia and Africa — in 2019, but whether they are destined for recycling, re-use or landfill is “highly uncertain,” according to a report published Monday by the European Environment Agency.

The fast-fashion industry to which H&M belongs is looking for ways to curb its carbon footprint in response to growing demands from investors to take more responsibility for the environment.

In a letter dated Thursday, Republican Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island sought details about the company’s procurement process and its links to Xinjiang, a region of China whose products are banned for import into the US by federal law.