H&M, Swedish high street retailer has launched its first denim collection made using the recycled clothing gathered globally after the it started an initiative that rewarded eight dollar vouchers to customers who brough to H&M stores a bag full of unwanted clothing of any brand. H&M's new collections are composed of twenty percent recycled cotton from the collected textiles and eighty percent organic cotton.
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M talking about the gathering unwanted clothing project said that by recycling unwanted clothes into new ones, will not only minimize textile waste, but also significantly reduce the need for virgin resources as well as other impacts fashion has on their planet.
H&M is also offering a $1.16 million reward for new techniques to reuse old clothes. No company, fast-fashion or not, can continue exactly like today, Persson said. The largest potential (for the reward) lies with finding new technology that means they can recycle the fibers with unchanged quality. The "Global Change Award" will be given by H&M Conscious Foundation to five winners who can help the company incorporate more innovative textile recycling techniques.
The company partnered with recycler I:CO to arrange customers' discarded clothes, choosing items for reselling or shredding. Some pieces can be made into rags or insulation, or undergo further processing to reclaim the cotton fibers. In the coming years, H&M hopes to increase the amount of recycled cotton used in its clothing.
H&Ms new collections will be available in all stores worldwide and at H&M's online stores starting September.
Other companies have also taken action to fight against the environmental effects of fashion. Levi's also works with the same recycling company I:CO and it offers twenty percent discount to customers who bring in used clothes. British clothing company Marks & Spencer also collects old items in their store for recycling.
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