H&M scheme to help close textiles loop

Global: Apparel powerhouse H&M is gearing up for the launch of a worldwide clothing collection initiative. As of February, customers will be able to hand in used garments in all of the 48 countries in which it has a presence.

‘Every year, tonnes of textiles are thrown out with domestic waste and end up in landfill,’ states H&M. ‘As much as 95% of these clothes could be used again - re-worn, reused or recycled.’ Under the new scheme, the company will accept ‘any pieces of clothing, from any brand and in any condition’. In return, the customer will receive a voucher worth around US$ 5 for each bag.

H&M’s Swiss partner I:Collect will take the clothes to a sorting facility in Germany and manage the overall recycling infrastructure. The collected clothes will be divided into four groups: apparel in good condition will be handed over to thrift shops; worn garments will be recycled into towels or napkins; poor condition material will be recovered for the textile industry; and the remainder will be directed to biogas ventures. 

‘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,’ says CEO Karl-Johan Persson.

To support innovation in closing the loop on textiles, H&M has set up the Conscious Foundation.

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