The company launched the initiative in partnership with Global Green USA, the American affiliate of Green Cross International, and I:Collect, a Swiss-based company that processes around 500 tons of used items every day in 74 countries. Under the partnership, I:Co will repurpose the clothing collected at H&M stores.
For each bag of clothing donated, customers will receive a voucher for 15 percent off their next purchased item, H&M said.
According to H&M, as much as 95 percent of clothes that end up in a landfill every year could be re-worn, reused or recycled. The company says it wants to reduce the environmental impact of garments throughout the lifecycle and create a closed loop for textile fibers.
The new clothing collection initiative is the most recent addition to H&M’s Conscious program, intended to create more sustainable fashion, the retailer says. This includes being the No. 1 user of organic cotton worldwide and banning perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in all of its products ordered after Jan. 1, 2013.
Other retailers, such as Marks & Spencer and The North Face, have announced clothing recycling programs. This week, The North Face launched a pilot clothing take-back/recycling program called Clothes the Loop, aimed at keeping billion of pounds of apparel and footwear out of landfills.
In April, Marks & Spencer announced its Shwopping campaign, which also encourages customers to recycle old clothing at M&S clothing stores. The retailer, which set a goal of recycling as many clothes as it sells — 350 million a year — gives all of the “shwopped” clothes to Oxfam.