H&M launched several major sustainability initiatives last year, including its first closed loop collection made with 20 percent recycled materials from collected garments. Almost all of its stores worldwide participate in its garment collection initiative, first launched in 2012. Last year, the company collected 3,047 tons of unwanted garments. H&M also launched its roadmap for fair living wages. Based on the Fair Wage Network’s methodology, the goal for the roadmap is for all of its strategic suppliers to have improved pay structures to put fair living wages in place by 2018 which will affect around 850,000 workers. To accomplish this, H&M must ensure that its purchasing practices support its suppliers in implementing fair living wages, and is working with its suppliers to that end.H&M’s 12th sustainability report details all that the clothing company is doing to become an industry leader. The company doubled its share of sustainable cotton in the last two years to 15.8 percent with 10.8 percent being certified organic, Better Cotton certified 5.0 percent, and recycled 0.01 percent. The goal is for all of its cotton to come from organic cotton, recycled cotton, and Better Cotton certified sources. H&M is already one of the world’s biggest users of certified organic cotton. Sustainable fabrics make up 11 percent of the fabrics used in H&M’s products, an increase from 9.1 in 2012. H&M plans to increase the share of sustainable fabrics every year.
Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a Central California based journalist who writes about sustainability, environmental issues, and healthy living. Armed with a degree in journalism and a passion for social responsibility, she writes for a number of online publications. She firmly believes that collaboration between the public and private sectors can help solve many problems facing the planet and its people. She has been named one of the 75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter by Mashable.com.