H&M and The London College of Fashion have teamed up to launch the UK’s first ever Fashion Recycling Week. Running from 31 August until 6 September, the initiative will be aiming to raise awareness of sustainability issues within the fashion industry.
“We recycle no less than 97 per cent of the clothes and textiles we collect into new products like clothes, insulation for cars and most importantly into new garments, closing the loop in fashion,” said Catarina Midby, H&M sustainability manager. The aim of the week, which will be running in all major UK cities including London, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh, is to show customers just what happens to their unwanted clothes and how these are fed back into the fashion industry, thus encouraging recycling practices and reducing waste. For the duration of the week, customers will be able to deposit old clothes in giant garment collection boxes located in London’s Covent Garden (or in-store at H&M) for which they will be able to claim a discount voucher that will go towards their next purchase at the retailer. Then it’s over to the London College of Fashion students, who have been given the task of interpreting various UK cities through window displays created with the aid of the donated clothes. “The students’ work showcases creative approaches in encouraging people to value their clothes as the precious resources they are,” said Renée Cuoco, Centre for Sustainable Fashion manager. “It has been an incredible opportunity for the students to explore sustainability from both a conceptual and industry perspective.”Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M, added that, “At H&M, we have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.”
Customers taking part in the initiative will also have the chance to win £250 to spend at H&M by attempting to guess the number of garments used in each installation. Participants will have to Instagram their guess and post a picture of the window tagging @hm and the hashtag #CloseTheLoop in order to be in with a chance of bagging the prize money. This latest eco-conscious initiative from the Swedish retailer will be complementing its already highly successful Conscious line, which creates and promotes sustainable and eco-friendly garments.