It’s no secret that the fashion industries capability as a whole- in the strive towards sustainability- have fallen to the way side. But H&M has challenged the status quo this season by introducing 16 new denim styles made from recycled material.
For the past two years, H&M shoppers have been bringing in their unwanted clothing to participate in a worldwide Garment Collecting Initiative, which is has collected about 18,000 tons and counting.
“Basically, we want to change the mindset of the customer [so they] see their old clothes as a resource rather than throwing them into the garbage or letting them pile up at the back of their closet.” Said Cecilia Brannsten, Project Manager of H&M’s Sustainability Team.
Surely, the initiative seems ideal but turns out to be sort of a ‘back ended deal.’ When you bring in your unwanted garments, as a consumer you’re supposed to feel some sense of self-gratification for helping reduce your carbon footprint. In exchange you then receive a 15% of your next purchase voucher, in which you end up spending more money and produce a much larger footprint than you would have before you went in and “recycled.”
“Creating a closed loop for textiles, in which clothes can be recycled into new ones, will not only minimize textile waste, but also significantly reduce the need for virgin resources as well as other impacts fashion has on our planet.” Said Karl-Johan, CEO of H&M.
H&M is currently only able to use about 20% of this recycled cotton and has planned to invest in other new technology to have a much larger impact on sustainability. Ironically, the fact that H&M has become one of the largest fashion resources of low quality and low price items with designs intended to be disposed after only a few minor wears raises questions about their actual initiative towards better sustainability. Compared to their actual sustainability.
“Fast fashion can never truly be sustainable because the business model itself is inherently unsustainable… If H&M was truly serious about sustainability, then it would focus on changing its business model – not on making more clothing under the guise of a feel-good name.” Said Shannon Whitehead, from the Huffington Post.
Managing a public image is one thing H&M is crafty at, but having a corporate social responsibility is still at question. Producing another 50 million non-recycled material garments on top of their yearly 500 million in this year alone- does not meet the standards of a appropriately sustainable business by any means.
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE. His primary goal as a Fashion Creative, is to document fashion history in the streetwear and art sector.
From the lens of an abstract visual content producer, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University; where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column for The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University – And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early – Bringing him to four design oriented degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art of the few, to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for just over a decade, from commercial retail visual management to corporate level ghost writing and consulting. Now, in this exact moment, T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent urban California lifestyle based fashion movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.