I was in my local H&M store the other day and noticed pamphlets at the counter about their clothing recycling program. I grabbed one to read later and was so happy when I read through it. Here is what it said.
Every hear, tons of textiles end up in landfills. But as much as 95% of these textiles and clothes could be used again. That’s why we are new collecting clothes in our stores. Clothes of any brand, in any quality and any condition.
So if you’ve got something worn, torn or hopelessly out of style – don’t throw it away or let it pile up in the back of your closet. Bring it to us, and help decrease the amount of fashion being wasted.
Bring your unwanted clothes to H&M stores. For each bag you hand in, you will receive a voucher with a discount for your next purchase.
Your clothes are sent with our usual deliveries to the nearest processing plant. They clothes are then graded and hand-sorted. Zero waste is the goal. Items that are too worn and torn to be be reused will be recycled and turned into raw materials and new products.
Basically H&M started a program where customers can bring in their unwanted clothing in any state and for every bag that you bring in you’ll get a voucher for $5 off a purchase of $30+. All the clothing is then sent off to a sorting plant where it will be given away or recycled into raw materials. They claim that they use the revenue generated from the clothes to use as the vouchers for their customers and don’t profit over this program. I checked their website and it looks like they have implemented into all of the countries they are in.
Here is what they state in their brochure about how the clothes are used.
Re-wear: Clothing that can be worn again is marked worldwide as second-hand goods.
Reuse: Textiles that are no longer suitable to wear are converted into other products, such as clean cloths.
Recycle: Textiles that can’t be reused get a new chance as textile fibres, or are used to manufacture products such as damping and insulating materials for the auto industry.
Energy: When we-wear, reuse, recycle are not options, textiles are used to produce energy.
What an amazing program! All the charities I know that collect clothes for donations only accept gently used clothes and I hate that if I have tattered, faded, unusable clothing that I’m forced to throw it out. Most people think that since clothing is biodegradable that it will decompose quickly, but it doesn’t.
I’m really happy that they have a zero waste policy and that they are executing this program all over the world. This encourages greater awareness of recycling clothing but also gets people thinking about more sustainable practices.
For more information about their program check out their website: hm.com/longlivefashion