H&M Organic Cotton Use Jumps 77 per cent

H&M Conscious Clothing

H&M's Conscious Collection

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) used 15,000 tons of organic cotton, over three times its targeted amount, in 2010, says the company’s Conscious Actions Sustainability Report for 2010. H&M says that it used more organic cotton than ever before, far exceeding its goal of 4,500 tons. According to the report, this increase of 77 percent compared to 2009 beat its target of a 50 percent increase, making H&M one of the largest users of organic cotton in the world.

H&M has gathered all its sustainable fashion under H&M Conscious. The retailer had in 2010 announced a target for all cotton to come from more sustainable sources by 2020.

According to the report, in 2010, 68,000 cotton farmers were educated on more sustainable farming practices through its active engagement in Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). 2010 also saw the first cotton harvest from the BCI.

H&M says that 1,600 tonnes of recycled materials were turned into new clothes and it also played an active role in forming the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, working to create a universal index to show the environmental impact and fair labor practices for clothing and footwear production. The report says that over 300,000 workers in Bangladesh have been educated on their rights since 2008, an activity that H&M will expand this to India in 2011.

Among sustainable process and production gains, the report records that H&M saved 50 million litres of water in denim production and would be extending the technique for all its denim suppliers in Bangladesh. H&M has also reduced the energy use per square meter in all H&M stores by 8 percent from 2007-2010.

“I am happy to see good progress in our sustainability work. To remain at the forefront of our industry we will gradually broaden our scope to take into account every part of our product’s life cycle. Our engagement in the Better Cotton Initiative and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition are two important initiatives to increase this influence,” says Helena Helmersson, Head of CSR at H&M.

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