THIS IS WORLD RECYCLE WEEK
Give us your old, your broken, your worn-out and your out-of-style clothes. That's the message H&M is sending out when seeking to collect 1,000 tonnes of old garments in the company's biggest sustainability campaign yet.
Since H&M launched its Garment Collecting initiative in 2013, customers from every corner of the world have helped recycle 25,000 tonnes of their unwanted clothes. To make that gigant volume more comprehendible, H&M's head of sustainability Anna Gedda compares it to collecting 125 million T-shirts in three years. On 18 April, one week dedicated to collecting at least 1,000 tonnes of unwanted garments starts.
"Seeing how much unwanted clothes we've collected since launching the garment collecting initiative, we know that there's a huge interest from our customers to be more conscious in how they enjoy fashion – and we want them to be a part of the solution," she says and continues:
"I'm positive we'll be able to collect 1,000 tonnes during World Recycle Week."
World Recycle Week is about changing people's behaviour when it comes to caring for their clothes.
H&M'S HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY ANNA GEDDA
H&M has been on the sustainability forefront for years. After items are collected in any of the more than 3,600 H&M stores worldwide, they are shipped to one of seven sorting plants where they are sorted to become either re-worn and sold in second-hand stores, re-used as cloths or upholstery, or re-cycled to become new fabric and essentially new items.
"The planet's resources are limited. If we want to continue enjoying fashion, we have to find a way to make better use of the resources. H&M works for a sustainable fashion future which, among many things, means that we want to create a closed loop for fashion where old clothes can be turned into new ones without using additional materials. We still have more to do, but already today we make so-called closed-loop products from denim of recycled fabric from the garments you hand in," says Anna Gedda.
To make as many people as possible aware of World Recycle Week, and to collect as many unwanted garments as possible (regardless of condition or brand of course), H&M has teamed up with M.I.A and several other influencers working in fashion and music, all the while being devoted to reduce waste of the planet's resources.
If we want to continue enjoying fashion we have to find a way to make better use of the resources
"M.I.A. is fantastic. She's not just a great artist with great style, she's also deeply engaged in sustainability and in environmental issues," says Anna Gedda.
WHAT IS THE LONG TERM GOAL WITH THIS WEEK?
"World Recycle Week is about changing people's behaviour when it comes to caring for their clothes, to make sure that no fashion goes to waste."
BEFORE THE WEEK STARTS, WHAT DO YOU URGE EVERYONE TO DO?
"To see this as a great opportunity to clean out your wardrobe. Then make sure all the things you can't wear anymore or that are ripped or that you're tired of get new life."
HOW MANY ITEMS WILL YOU RECYCLE DURING THE WEEK?
"At least two full bags. I've collected most of the things that I'm going to recycle."
The music video with M.I.A. – watch the teaser above – highlights the environmental impact that letting fashion go to waste has on the planet. So instead of throwing your clothes in the garbage, and allowing them to end up in landfills, you should collect all the things you don't want and bring them to your nearest H&M.
"World Recycle Week is a movement for change," says Anna Gedda.