H&M has come under fire in the past for its fast-fashion approach to "disposable" clothing, but starting next year, the chain is hoping to counter some of those accusations with a new scheme designed to lower the environmental impact of its garments.
From February 2013, shoppers at selected stores will be able to exchange their old clothes for H&M discounts, in a garment collecting scheme being run in partnership with with recycling company I:Collect. Under the new scheme, the clothing collected will be taken to a sorting facility for recycling, while the person who donated it gets to enjoy discounted shopping at H&M. The chain says it will accept any brand of clothing, in any condition, so you don't have to be an existing H&M shopper to participate - all you have to do is take them some of your old clothes.
"Every year, tons of textiles are thrown out with domestic waste, and end up in landfills. Over 95% of these clothes could be used again; re-worn, reused or recycled - depending on the state of the garment. Through its Conscious Foundation, H&M has made it its mission to reduce the environmental impact of garments throughout the lifecycle by closing the loop on textile fiber and supporting social projects along H&M’s value chain. The aim is to find long-term technical solutions to reuse and recycle textile fibers on a larger scale."
Of course, you could argue that as consumers are still being encourage to buy MORE clothes, the problem isn't exactly being solved, but in the case of clothes too old or worn to be donated to charity, say, this seems like a better option than simply throwing them away.
What do you think of the new scheme?