H&M clothing recycling program

Fast fashion company H&M has come up with a new way to attract eco-friendly customers: a clothing recycling program. Rather than, say, shredding their unsold products and leaving them in the street, as they once did, they are instead offering a discount to those who bring in old clothes.

According to Bloomberg, the program began in February in select stores, but by the end of the year, it will have spread to all of the company’s near-3,000 outlets. Right now, when a customer brings in a plastic bag of clothing to a store in Sweden, they receive a 50 kronor ($7.80) discount on purchases of 300 kronor ($45.55) or more.

“We don’t want clothes to become waste, we want them to become a resource instead,” says the company’s sustainability manager Henrik Lampa. “We want to make new commercial fibers out of this, to make new clothes and textiles.”

Considering the amount of textiles that go into landfills each year, the program is actually a great pretty idea. While there are obviously millions of people who are willing to recycle or donate old garments, it is common knowledge that giving folks some incentive to be environmentally-friendly can have a huge impact on the likelihood that they will follow through.

Photo: Elvert Barnes / Flickr