H&M is taking various steps towards a more sustainable fashion. The latest of these is the transformation of old clothes into new ones in one of the branches in Stockholm.
According to server CNN the retailer will give consumers the opportunity to return used clothing, then their old clothing will be cleaned and put into a machine called Looop. He crushes the clothes into fibers, which are then used to make new clothes.
H&M’s efforts stem from the growing amount of textile waste to which fast fashion chains, such as H&M, are contributing.
The company said the recycling process is more environmentally friendly because it can process more than one garment at a time without the use of water or chemicals. Sometimes it may be necessary to add raw materials from sustainable sources, but the company hopes that this will happen as little as possible.
The entire recycling process takes approximately five hours and is carried out directly in front of the customers. For now, they can choose one of three types of clothing to be made from their old one. A sweater, children’s blanket and scarf are available. The store charges a fee of $ 11 to $ 16 for recycling clothes.
H&M stated that the new system is only available in Sweden, where the company is based. However, she refused to reveal her plans for the future with the expansion of the Looop machine. It is not yet clear whether the new system can significantly bend the amount of textile waste.
According to the latest available data from the website of the US Environmental Protection Agency, 16.9 million tons of textile waste was generated in the USA in 2017. The recycling rate was only 15.2 percent and 2.6 million tons of substances were recycled.
For comparison, the Ministry of Industry and Trade writes in the material Secondary Raw Materials Policy that each inhabitant of the Czech Republic “annually produces an average of 10 kg of textile waste, but more than 90 percent of it is no longer used.”
The rapid fashion affected the amount of waste. “A lot of clothes aren’t made well, or they’re made of synthetic materials that can’t be easily recycled,” said Jackie King, executive director of secondary materials and recycled textiles.
In 2013, H&M set itself the goal that all its garments will be made from recycled or sustainable materials by 2030. It is currently at 57 percent.
Like H&M, other clothing retailers, such as Zara, are taking steps to reduce textile waste.
As at H&M, customers can return used clothing, footwear and accessories in more than 1,300 Zara stores. “Large companies like H&M and Zara can have a really big impact on industry and consumers if they are leaders on the road to change,” said Deborah Drew, an analyst at the non-profit research organization World Resources Institute.
Last year, Zara announced that all cotton, linen and polyester used by the brand would be environmentally friendly, sustainable or recycled by 2025.