The 2nd largest fashion chain in the world, H&M, finally made a home in 16th Street strip mall, in Cherry Creek Mall, and at Flatiron Crossing exactly 1 year and 1 month ago. Our rewards for waiting so patiently? The Swedish company has announced that they plan to incorporate an apparel recycling program to their business model in February 2013.
The cool part is that, unlike our Metro-Denver favorites Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet, H&M plans to accept all styles, from all brands, in all conditions. Karl Johan-Persson , the company’s CEO, explains in a public statement that , “[H&M’s] sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M.”
The exact details on how the program will function are still unavailable to the public but as far as we can understand, in exchange for a bag of unwanted clothing, customers will receive a kind of voucher that can be redeemed as store credit. “The collected clothes are then handled by H&M’s partner, I:Collect, which provides the infrastructure in which consumer goods are repeatedly reprocessed and made available for new use,” as stated in the retailer’s press release.
The company asserts that “as much as 95 percent of these clothes could be used again; re-worn, reused or recycled,” and in an effort to lessen the global carbon footprint of apparel production, consumption, and disposal, they want to spark a movement to close the loop. Although this move may not affect the quality of clothing sold in H&M stores, it might inspire a new perception of the fashion industry and it’s place in our culture.
Unfortunately, the program will only launch in selected stores, so we can only hope that Denver’s newly born locations will get to participate. In the meantime, throw a little “Closet Clean-Out” party with your favorite fashionistas and get a few 2nd opinions on whether you should keep that zebra-striped romper you bought in March with the tags still on it.
Send us your funniest CCO party photos at firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered to win a $20 H&M giftcard!