H&M recycles

The trend started a few years ago. In Scandinavia children’s wear brand Klättermusen was a pioneer. Filippa K and Acne opened secondhand stores. Lindex started a campaign during this summer. I’m talking about different forms of recycling clothes. I got happy when I heard the news that H&M finally started a clothing collecting initiative worldwide where customers will be able to hand in used garments from any brand in H&M stores in all 48 markets, and in return receive a discount.

In the clothing apparel life-cycle most GHG emissions arise when worn and washed. But using recycled garments decrease the amount dumped to landfills, and it also results in a net energy benefit up to as much as 97 percent (SATCOL).

Recycling program is a good holistic approach of the value chain in the apparels industry. But then there is the paradox that these companies still want you to shop more. Otherwise it would ruin the whole business model. That would require a fundamental change of the capitalistic system per se.

Until any of these changes occur, I would like to see more companies following H&M by making recycling available, large-scale and embedded as part of core business.

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