- Retail clothing company H&M is teaming up with artist M.I.A. for a clothing recycling initiative from April 18 to April 24. During what H&M dubs as "World Recycle Week," the company plans to collect 1,000 tons of unwanted clothes from its more than 3,600 stores worldwide, aiming to ensure worn garments are recycled into reusable textile fibers.
- A music video produced by M.I.A. for H&M will debut on April 11, illustrating the negative impact of landfilling volumes of clothes. Appearing in the video are models and entertainers who will call on consumers to reverse the trend and recycle what they no longer wear.
- US customers who drop off their clothes at H&M locations will be awarded a 15% discount toward their next purchase. During World Recycle Week, they will receive a 30% coupon.
Americans generate 25 billion pounds of textile waste every year with a scant 15% of it donated or recycled. Little by little, manufacturers and some retailers are working to mitigate the problems that arise when clothes are rapidly tossed as people replace them without bothering to find a new home for them.
Some big brands are partnering with the industry to upcycle their products or create sustainable ones, often with innovative outcomes. Speedo has debuted its PowerFLEX Eco swimwear made of recycled material comprised of old carpets and fishing nets. Adidas and Levi's are also diverting their products from landfills.
H&M is leveraging its name and that of M.I.A. and the celebrities in the video to make its World Recycle Week fun, and to illustrate how easy recycling can be.
The retailer has had drop-off sites for clothes, regardless of their condition, since 2013. And in 2014 the company went further, launching a system to collect recycled fibers from the donated garments. Their aim is to not only find homes for clothes that otherwise would have been trashed, but to create fibers for brand new products.