H&M reduce, reuse and recycle in an attempt to lower the thousands of tonnes of textiles that is thrown away on an annual basis.
95% of the thousands of tonnes of textiles thrown away every year could be re-worn or recycled. In an attempt to start making use of the unloved garments, Swedish brand H&M launched a clothing recycling programme in 2013.
The company asked shoppers to donate a bag of unwanted clothing in exchange for an H&M gift voucher offering a 15% discount off their next purchase.
The campaign proved very successful and two years after its launch, H&M launched its Denim Re-born range in September last year. The range includes a variety of jean styles for both men and women, as well denim jackets and jumpsuits. There are even items available for children.
The range looks similar to the company’s current offerings and also matches on price, ranging from $40 to $60 (approximately AU$57 – AU$85) for the adult’s range and $18 to $30 (approximately AU$25 to AU$42) for the kid’s range. The 16-piece denim collection uses 20% recycled cotton yarn.
The recycled yarn comes from some of the 14,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing that H&M have collected since launching its campaign in 2013.
The donated clothing goes through a sorting process. Items that are still in a good condition are sent off to secondhand stores straight away. Other items are shredded as used as insulation or made into rags. While other items are further broken down into its component parts and recycled into yarn.
H&M also make a monetary donation to a specific charity in each country where it operates, equaling approximately a penny per pound.
The Denim Re-born range is H&M’s first step in its goal of completely ‘closing the loop’ in the apparel manufacturing process.
Using some of the donated items, H&M collaborated with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion. Second-year students were tasked with creating new fashion pieces using donated fabric and textiles. The end result was a range of sustainable, fashion-forward items. The items were available in eight select stores across the U.K.