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H&M pushes sustainability agenda & customers into stores

STOCKHOLM — H&M will become the first fashion company to roll out garment collecting in select stores worldwide as part of their sustainability initiative.

Beginning February 2013, customers will be able to exchange used garments for shopping discounts in H&M stores in all 48 markets worldwide. Clothing brought to H&M stores will be brought to a recycling facility, where the collected garments will be sorted for re-wearing, reuse and recycling. H&M will accept any pieces of clothing, from any brand and in any condition. In exchange, customers will receive a voucher for 15% off an item of their choice for every one bag of clothing they donate.

The Swedish retailer will generate customer traffic into its stores, while helping achieve their sustainability goals, including helping to save natural resources and contributing to reduced environmental impact by avoiding textile waste.

“Our 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,” says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO H&M.

Every year, tons of textiles are thrown out with domestic waste and end up in landfills. More than 95% of these clothes could be used again, depending on its condition. Through its Conscious Foundation, H&M has made it its mission to reduce the environmental impact of garments throughout the lifecycle by closing the loop on textile fiber and supporting social projects along H&M’s value chain. The aim is to find long-term technical solutions to reuse and recycle textile fibers on a larger scale.

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