Retail powerhouse H&M is known for creating fast fashion — trendy, low-price items that are disposable after one season. But the Swedish clothing giant is moving into sustainable fashion in a big way.
The chain, with five Houston-area stores, has rolled out a global garment recycling program in which consumers can donate clothing and receive a voucher for 15 percent off their entire next purchase for each bag of donated clothing. Clothing bins are situated near cash registers and the store accepts all clothing, whether or not it originated from H&M.
Since 2013, H&M has collection more than 14,000 tons of clothing. It's sent to a processing plant, where items are graded and hand-sorted. Clothing than can be worn again is sold at second hand stores. Items that are too worn are reused as cleaning cloths and other products or recycled into raw materials for new products.
Sixteen new denim styles for men, women and children made from recycled cotton collected in H&M's Garment Collecting initiative were recently introduced at stores. The items include jeans, jackets, joggers, zip-up hoodies, joggers and jumpsuits.
The chain is also currently collaborating with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, located in the Palais du Louvre in Paris, to celebrate the new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection. Inspired by the archives of the museum, the collection will launch in April to coincide with the opening of the hotly anticipated exhibition, Fashion forward - Three centuries of fashion.Parisian art director Julia Restoin Roitfeld will be the face of the campaign.
"With this collection we brought the idea of sustainability to new levels. Working with new innovative materials such as beads and rhinestones made from recycled glass and Denimite, a material made from recycled worn-out denim. We have created contemporary styles imbued with a sophisticated charm" says Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Advisor at H&M, said in a statement.