H&M: 1st Fashion Company to Launch Global Clothes Recycling Program


Swedish global fashion firm Hennes & Mauritz plans to start collecting old clothes from next year to hand over for recycling, it said on Thursday. H&M, the world’s second biggest fashion chain after Spanish group Inditex, said in a statement it will become the first fashion company to launch a clothing collection initiative worldwide. “From February 2013, customers will be able to hand in used garments in H&M stores in all 48 markets,” it said. Any items of clothing from any brand and in any condition would be accepted and customers would receive a voucher for each bag. H&M follows the lead of Marks & Spencer, which in April introduced a U.K.-wide clothing-recycling program, dubbed “Shwopping,” that rewards shoppers who surrender an unwanted piece of clothing every time they buy a new one.


The collected clothes would then be handled by I:Collect, a global recycling company. which transforms unusable clothing into industrial products ranging from cleaning cloth, paper, insulation, carpet underlay, surface covering and textile fibers. H&M said tonnes of textiles were thrown out every year, when as much as 95 percent of the clothes could be used again. “Our sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M,” stated H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
Fashion retailers are embracing sustainability with ever-widening arms, becoming increasingly accountable for the byproducts their industry creates. H&M was the biggest user of organic cotton worldwide for the second consecutive year in 2011, part of the brand’s strategic goal to only use more sustainable cotton by 2020. Besides increased use of certified organic cotton, H&M is also boosting the use of called Better Cotton and is an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative, investing more than EUR 2 million in total (until 2013) in helping hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers grow more cotton with less water and fewer chemicals. H&M also had a 2012 Conscious Collection.
“Long-term, H&M wants to reduce the environmental impact of garments throughout the lifecycle and create a closed loop for textile fibres,” the company’s statement added, “which is why H&M has set up its Conscious Foundation: to support innovation on closing the loop on textiles and social projects along H&M’s value chain.”

via Yahoo and BrandChannel