H&M Global Garment Recycling Scheme Launches In The UK.

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So a few weeks ago I blogged about an upcoming garment recycling scheme that H&M were launching worldwide. This will be the first ever global garment recycling scheme and it supports H&M’s dedication to making fashion more environmentally sustainable industry. Well after weeks of speculation the scheme is about to start, It will launch in every single UK store tomorrow 18th February 2013 and will be rolled out in the other 47 countries H&M operates in over the next few weeks. Personally I am very excited about this launch, the conscious actions of the company is something I am very interested in and as a customer this is an amazing way to recycle clothing and refresh my wardrobe.

The amount of clothing we go though annually is crazy and not enough people are aware of the negative impact this has on the environment  people are also unaware of the ways in which the life cycle of clothing can be extended and avoid clothing being sent to landfill. We all recycle our glass, plastic and cardboard but we still haven’t got into the habit if recycling our clothing, H&M are offering people the opportunity to get rid of their unwanted clothing and support a great charity at the same time.

So How does it work? 

Basically you fill an average carrier bag full of old clothes you no longer want, pop into your nearest H&M store and place the bag in the donation bin (below). You will then receive a £5 voucher that can be redeemed off your next purchase of £30 or more in the next 6 months. (Maximum of two vouchers per customer per day and only one voucher can be redeemed per transaction) You can donate clothes from any brand, the only exceptions are shoes, accessories and heavy textiles / materials.

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Then what happens? 

All of the garments donated will be used within the country they are donated, with the initiative being rolled out across 47 countries it will be supporting local causes all over the world. H&M is working in partnership with I:CO and the International Red Cross for this initiative, I:CO act as the middlemen and process the garments ready to be reused or recycled.

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H&M already supports the Red Cross with over 2.5 million donated garments annually, this is a great resource boost for the charity who are always in need of high quality stock that can be sold in their stores to raise funds.  Clothing  will also be donated to smaller charities and organisations that the Red Cross supports such as homeless shelters and half way houses.

Recycling is another way the donated garments will be used, H&M intends to work towards a ‘closed loop production system’ where clothes collected in this initiative will be reprocessed into brand new clothes. This will enable the company to move away from it’s dependence on raw materials and helps to support it’s existing work producing ethical clothing as seen in it’s annual Conscious Collections and it’s upcoming capsule collection with Brick Lane Bikes. The conscious collection is made out of recycled fibres and organic cotton, it is an annual example of the extent to which recycling can be used within the fashion industry.

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Why?

This is the question that a lot of people are asking, why is H&M doing this? Well it’s for many reasons, the main one being that the company believes that recycling clothes plays a big role in it’s desire for a more sustainable future for fashion. H&M has 7 conscious commitments with regards to the effect it’s operations have on the environment  this garment recycling initiative reflects all 7 of those beliefs.

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The majority of the CO2 used in the life cycle of a garment comes from the way in which the items are washed and cared for, also clothes are disposed of with upto 95% of their wearability remaining. Through recycling the fibres the life cycle of a garment can be extended with the overall CO2 use being greatly reduced.

For more about H&M’s conscious actions visit their sustainability website.

What do you think of the garment recycling initiative? Will you be clearing out your wardrobe and exchanging it for some H&M vouchers? I know I definitely will be!

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