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Sustainable Fashion by H&m Group

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Sustainable Fashion by H&M Group

“There are no rules in fashion but one: RECYCLE YOUR CLOTHES”

 

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Word account:  2,610


Executive Summary

Sustainable fashion is a disruption of current norms in the apparel industry. Today global demand for resources exceeds supply.  The industry has become oversaturated because companies overproduce garments to decrease prices and all inventory overstocks end up in landfills, polluting the earth.

The solution for producing sustainable fashion is to shift the business from a linear to a circular model where resources are used as long as possible and then recover to make new value products.

Recycling is a rallying point in the clothes industry. H&M is “the most vocal evangelist”. H&M Group has ambitious to become 100% circular in 2030. “The Second life of the garment” is one of their CSR initiative with integrated approach includes:

  • Investing into recycle innovations and technology;
  • Customers encouraging about conscious behavior;
  • Worldwide cooperation with different organizations and institute to find the solution for the whole apparel industry;
  • Lead by example launching products and collections made in closed loop recycled and upcycled materials from collected garments.

The main limitations for circular model is recycling technologies.  Only a small percentage of recycled yarn can be used in new products.

The other question is fast-fashion can be sustainable. Founded in 2016 YSTR brand is a pioneer of an entirely new mode of garment production and buyers consumption.  Their goal is to create great clothes while minimizing fashion waste.

People are starting to be aware of the affect the apparel industry is having on the environment and making more conscious choices on what and why they purchase.

H&M Group should enhance their communication and engagement with customers, find the way to reduce amount of mini-seasons during the year and in long term switch short-lived, fast fashion production to timeless pieces of garment.


Table of Content

Executive Summary.......................................................................................

Introduction....................................................................................................

Environmental Problems: Why Do Recycle Clothes?..............................

        Textile waste.........................................................................................

        Pollution................................................................................................

“Second life of the garment” by H&M Group..........................................

        Criticism...............................................................................................

Theory-based Evaluation:

Carrols’ 4 strategies of social responsiveness..........................................

Slow Fashion: YSTR.....................................................................................

Conclusions and Recommendations........................................................

List of References........................................................................................


Introduction

The apparel industry is looking for solutions to produce sustainable fashion. Today global demand for resources exceeds supply. If it continues along the same track it will need the equivalent of 2.3 planets by 2050 (footprintnetwork.org, 2017).

The main response for the current situation of resources usage is to shift the business from a linear to a circular model. In a circular model, resources are used as long as possible and then recover to make new value products.

This report will analyze H&M sustainability strategy and highlights strengths and weakness of initiative «Second life of the garment» and compare with an entirely new mode of garment production presented by brand YSTR.

H&M Group is a global fashion retailer covering 64 markets on six continents and e-commerce in 35 markets. It offers fashion from brands H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories and Cheap Monday, as well as homeware from H&M Home in 4,351 stores globally.

Environmental Problems:
Why Do Recycle Clothes?

Textile Waste

The main reason to recycle clothes is the mountains of garments that end up in landfills every year. Synthetic clothing may take 100-years to decompose.

It’s few information about how many tones of clothes are produced and wasted in landfills. In open sources there are some data about UK and US.

US:

More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the US, and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years (The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, 2016).

According to Council for Textile Recycling (2017):

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space.
  • While the EPA estimates that the textile recycling industry recycles approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) each year, this only accounts for approximately 15% of all PCTW, leaving 85% in landfills (see Table 1).
  • The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually (World Economic Forum, 2017).

Table 1. Post-Consumer Textile Waste statistics in US. [pic 4]

Source: [reprinted] Council for Textile Recycling (2017) The Facts about Textile Waste. Available at: http://www.weardonaterecycle.org/about/issue.html

UK:

The Guardian hold research in the beginning of 2017 and found out that consumers were expected to liquidate about 680m pieces of clothing after cleaning their spring wardrobes.

The annual wardrobe cleaning expects about 235 m of the garment will be end up in landfills.

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