Closing the Loop on Fashion: H&M’s Textile Recycling Initiative

Apr 20, 2015 11:15 AM ET

As companies innovate for a better future, many are discovering that to be truly sustainable, they must redefine how they do business and push the boundaries of what was ever thought possible. And that's exactly how a fast-fashion brand entered the textile-to-textile recycling space.

H&M has been a longstanding leader in clothing take-back programs, deeming itself the "first fashion company to launch a global garment collection initiative." Just last week the brand announced through its 2014 sustainability report it has more than doubled the amount of collected items through the initiative. However, even as H&M continues to make progress, critics still target the company which they say is by nature a "volume business," questioning how it can ever be sustainable. Although H&M currently gives new lives to clothing through resale at second-hand stores and by turning the material into new products, such as cleaning cloths, it still has a ways to go to achieve its bold goal to "produce fashion in a closed loop."

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