Image

H&M's New Denim Collection Is Made From Recycled Goods

H&M's New Denim Collection Is Made From Recycled Goods
User Avatar
10 months ago

It's no secret that fast fashion is not the cleanest enterprise. In fact, aside from oil, it's the second dirtiest industry in the world, taking into account the pesticides used in cotton farming and the toxic dyes used in manufacturing, as well as the huge amount of natural resources used in extraction, farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and shipping. For example, it can take up to 650 gallons of water to create just one cotton T-shirt, and manufacturing synthetic fibers causes pollution. 

When it comes to fast fashion, there's no name bigger than H&M. For years, the company has been pushing out affordable, trendy wears. And as much as people love the brand, many of the company's clothes end up clogging up the waste stream instead of hitting the town on a Friday night. Americans throw away 14 million tons of clothes per year – or 80 pounds per person – and 84 percent of those end up not in a thrift store, but in either a landfill or an incinerator.

Knowing that they are part of the problem, H&M has made a commitment to cleaning up their act. Last year, they unveiled a new sustainability mission, which aims to infuse an eco ethos into every aspect of the business. The first step was its "take-back" program, a clothing recycling program that made every store not just a shopping destination, but an old-clothing drop off location as well. 

The take-back program has been going on for a year now and one part of the end product has finally been released: H&M's new Close The Loop line of denim. The six-piece line of jackets, skirts and pants is made from 20 percent recycled materials, pulled directly from the unwanted clothes customers have been dropping off. It gets better, too: The other 80 percent is comprised of organic cotton from the company's Better Cotton Initiative program. 

It's especially innovative that the company is going after denim first, as denim is the most unsustainable garment to manufacture. A single pair of jeans take nearly 2700 gallons of water to produce and the manufacturing process heavily pollutes the water. In most factories, most of the untreated waste water full of dyes and chemicals goes right back into rivers and the ocean. By using 20 percent recycled materials, H&M is potentially cutting out 20 percent of that waste.

H&M is the second clothing manufacturer to green up their denim production in as many months. The San Francisco-based "radical transparency" brand Everlane also released a line of sustainable denim this summer, going so far as to partner with an almost-unheard-of eco-factory in China in an effort to produce the "world's most sustainable denim."

H&M's Close The Loop line will be out October 5th, and the company says it's just the beginning for their sustainability program: By 2030, all of H&M's products will be made of more sustainable or recycled materials than not. So get ready for some fast, clean fashion. 

RecircStyle6 Places To Buy Eco-Conscious Summer Shoes

Whether you want an adorable pair of flats, flip-flops, or running sneakers, these brands are a safe bet for an eco-conscious purchase.

By Marissa Higgins
1 day ago
RecircStyleGet Free Makeup From MAC By Returning Your Empty Containers

The Back to MAC recycling program offers free lipstick in exchange for empty makeup containers.

By Kristin Hunt
1 day ago
RecircHomeTerraCycle Helps You Recycle Wine Corks, Batteries, And Other "Non Recyclables"

TerraCycle helps you recycle batteries and cigarette butts with its free shipping programs.

By Kristin Hunt
1 day ago
RecircTravel6 Ocean-Safe Sunscreens To Check Out

These six sunscreens protect your skin without harming the ocean and vulnerable coral reefs. 

By Marissa Higgins
1 day ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our newsletter