H&M today launched a global initiative to collect used clothes in the chain’s stores all over the world. From February 2013, customers will be able to hand in used garments in H&M stores in all 48 markets.
That’s an interesting initiative. The results will be vital to follow. H&M states: ”Sustainability is an important part of H&M’s offering, and H&M strives to reduce the environmental impact of clothes throughout their lifecycle.”
Important to remember is also that H&M is extremely clever at marketing. I.e. stressing the points that sounds good, but might not be the whole truth. The ”teflon effect”, to use a term coined by US media.
Signifying is H&M’s policy concerning cotton. Repeatedly the company has reported how it’s now the biggest user in the world of ecological cotton. That sounds good. But how much of all cotton sold by H&M is that? Since the total volumes of cotton used by H&M are huge, as are the damaging effects of conventionally grown cotton, this is the really vital figure. From what we’ve heard only a very small part – a few percents – of all H&M cotton is ecological. But the true figure is not given, instead it’s a company secret. When we’ve put the question directly to H&M representatives, we’ve so far only got the answer that the figure isn’t public. So, interesting to follow all details of the new collecting-of-used-garments initiative.