More than half of H&M raw materials sustainable

10 April 2019

More than half (57%) of the materials H&M used to make its products in 2018 were created using recycled or other sustainably sourced fibres, the company has claimed.

The figure was up from 35% in 2017, while the percentage of sustainable cotton used by the brand in its garments was 95%.

In its 2018 sustainablity report the company also claimed that 930,000 garment workers in its supply chain are now covered by its fair living wage strategy.

This means 84% of the company's product volume is now produced in factories with improving wage standards and human rights approaches, according to H&M.

H&M said its supplier list now covers 100% of tier one supplier products and 65% of products with tier two suppliers.

All tier one and tier two supplier factories used the Higg Index Facility Environmental Module sustainability tool during 2018, which the company believes makes it one of the widest users of the tool developed by Sustainable Apparel Coaltion.

It recently rebuilt one of its stores in Stockholm using mainly building materials and interiors from existing store materials, production samples or previous purchase leftovers.

“This shortened the lead time along the entire value chain, maximised the value and use of the resources, and reduced our climate impact,” said the retailer, adding it was discussing with suppliers how to come up with similar circular initiatives.

The company has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the company’s own operations by a further 40% by 2030, part of efforts to become climate positive by 2040.

Targets have been set that all packaging used should be made of 100% recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030.

A water roadmap aims to reduce water usage by 25% in production and to recycle 15% of wastewater back into production processes by 2022.

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