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H&M closes loop with first recycled denim collection

Fast fashion giant H&M is going full circle: In a move to reduce textile waste, the Swedish clothing retailer is launching a new denim range made from recycled and organic cotton.

Each item has been made using cotton recycled from clothes collected through H&M’s ‘Garment Collecting’ initiative through which shoppers can donate unwanted clothes (of any brand) at designated H&M stores.

The new recycled denim range comprises 16 denim styles for men, women and children and will be available in stores and online from September. Prices range from 19.99 euros to 39.99 euros for pieces like distressed jeans, shirts, zip-up jackets, overalls and dungarees.

“Creating a closed loop for textiles, in which unwanted clothes can be recycled into new ones, will not only minimize textile waste, but also significantly reduce the need for virgin resources as well as other impacts fashion has on our planet,” commented H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.

Only sustainable cotton by 2020

Since the launch of the Garment Collecting initiative in 2013, more than 14,000 tonnes of used and unwanted clothes have been collected for recycling, thus moving H&M to the forefront of sustainable fashion. Currently, H&M is able to use 20 percent of recycled cotton from clothes collected through the initiative, but wants to increase this share by investing in new technology. The company has set itself the target to use only sustainable cotton in all its products by 2020.

H&M closes loop with first recycled denim collection

“It's really close to the business and to use natural resources in this way is actually cost-efficient. For us, this is a clear long-term business case to keep on being profitable in the long-term. We will have to find ways on being less dependent on natural resources,” said H&M’s head of sustainability Helena Helmersson when talking to edie.

Images: H&M