London - The H&M Group has taken another step towards taking on a 'closed loop' business model by pledging to use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials in its products by 2030. The promise was one of several new sustainability commitments announced by the Swedish fast-fashion giant on Tuesday morning with the publication of its 2016 Sustainability Report.
The fashion company has also pledged to become climate positive throughout its entire value chain by 2040 and aims to reduce more greenhouse gas emission than its value chain emits. In order to reach this goal, H&M Group has committed to switching to 100 percent renewable electricity, obtaining a climate neutral supply chian for tier 102 suppliers by 2030 and will focus on energy renewable and address "unavoidable emissions."
H&M Group sets out new sustainability goals for 2030 to take on a circular system
"We want to use our size and scale to lead the change towards circular and renewable fashion while making our company even more fair and equal. This is why we have developed a new strategy aiming to take our sustainability work to the next level," said Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at the H&M group in a statement. "We want to lead by example, pave the way and try new things – both when it comes to the environmental and social side – to ultimately make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable. Our climate positive strategy is one way of doing this."
At the moment, H&M is globally the biggest user of cotton from the Better Cotton initiative as part of its long-term strategy to become full circular. The Swedish fashion company has teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and is conducting research on what a circular system producing and using textiles may look like. In 2016, 26 percent of H&M full product range was made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials and 43 percent of its total cotton use came from more sustainable sources.
The group aims to only use sustainable cotton by 2020 and recycled and sustainably sourced materials by 2030. To reach this ambitious goal, the group aims to annually collection at least 25,000 tonnes of textiles in its global stores by 2020 through its garment collecting initiative. The H&M group also aims to improve the working conditions within the fashion industry by scaling up its industrial relations and fair living wage programs. These programs are currently being implemented in 8 production countries. 140 supplier factories are implementing improve wage management systems, affecting 250,000 workers and 290 supplier factories are currently part of the workplace dialogue programs, which affect 370,000 workers.
"It has always been important for us to act in a way that makes it possible not just for present but also future generations to enjoy fashion," said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of the H&M Group. "In a world with growing populations and finite resources, both H&M group and the entire fashion industry must look for new ways of working. I’m convinced our new sustainability strategy presented in this report will take us closer towards our vision; to lead the change towards circular and renewable fashion while being a fair and equal company."
Homepage photo Bangladeshi worker: Copyright - GMB Akash
Photo 1: H&M Conscious Collection, H&M
Photo 2: Anna Gedda, H&M
Photo 3: H&M Conscious Collection, H&M
Photo 4: Karl-Johan Persson, H&M