• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

H&M ploughs reclaimed cotton into new styles

The Local/at · 10 Apr 2014, 17:12

Published: 10 Apr 2014 17:12 GMT+02:00

H&M announced last year that it would start to encourage its fans to hand in old items of clothing they no longer used, rather than tossing them in the garbage. A year later, some of the reclaimed cotton has made its way into new styles.

"We have found a way to use the cotton fibres in our clothing," said sustainability head Helena Helmersson. "We've made denim clothing where 20 percent of the fibres come from recycled items."

The Swedish firm admitted, however, that it had hoped to reach a higher recycled content.

"Unfortunately we did not manage to fulfil our demands on quality with a higher proportion than that," Helmerson explained. 

The more sustainable off-shoot of H&M's many in-house diffusion lines  - called simply Conscious Collection - has used some material taken from recycled plastic bottles. Leather items have been put together with hides from cattle reared organically for meat production. 

IN PICTURES:  The latest designs in H&M's Conscious Collection

On Thursday, the recycling issue was addressed as part of the company's broader annual report on sustainability. Just like other large-scale retailers, H&M has faced criticism for not doing enough to secure the welfare of employees in the textile industry. The company responded last year by stating that at least 60 percent of workers who supplied H&M with items would be given salaries that secured a decent standard of living.

The company has not, however, specified what a living wage entailed, reported the TT news agency on Thursday. A recent H&M review into textile-worker salaries in Cambodia and Bangladesh found that the average staff member cannot live on their current wage. 

Tola Moeun, human rights expert at the organization CLEC in Cambodia, also noted that raising salaries had not been enough.

"Higher inflation has increased living expenses for the workers, at the same time as the salaries remain low," he told Sveriges Radio. 

Several trade unions in Cambodia have now demanded that the new minimum wage be set at 160 dollars a month rather than the current level of 100, noted Swedish observer Brittis Edman at Civil Rights Defenders. 

Story continues below…

"Increasing the minimum wage was positive, but from what people tell me, 100 dollars doesn't go far to cover people's needs," she told TT. 

H&M, which is set to begin production in Ethiopia, has asked both Sida, Sweden's state agency that allocates and project manages aid, and the International Labour Organization for help in making sure they can find subcontractors who respect workers' right to free association, in other words who are unionized. 

"A challenge in Ethiopia is industrial relationships, negotiations between employers and employees, and another (challenge) is that there is no legal minimum wage," Helmersson at H&M said. 

The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Kidnappers with chainsaw abduct man in Stockholm
The scene of the kidnapping in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A man has been arrested after armed kidnappers bundled another man into a van and drove off with him shortly after noon on Friday outside the Bromma Blocks shopping centre in Stockholm.

Border Checks
Commuters to seek damages from Sweden over ID checks
The Öresund bridge. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

The Southern Sweden Chamber of Commerce is collecting commuters' names ahead of an attempt to claim damages from the Swedish state over ID checks in the Öresund region.

Why Swedes are so relaxed about taking gap years
Anna Tybrandt and her friends in Malaysia/Photo: Private

But the French aren't so keen.

Euro 2016
How Iceland made Swedes 'proud to be Nordic'
Fans react in Reykjavic after Iceland defeat England. Photo: Brynjar Gunnarsson

Sweden failed to make it past the group stages at Euro 2016. The fans needed a new team, and now they've got one.

Why this Swedish police dog has been hailed as a hero
Äddie the police dog has finally retired after ten years on the job. Photo: Christer Torlen

A heart-warming Stockholm Police tribute to Äddie the retiring police dog has attracted hundreds of replies and thousands of likes on Facebook.

Five facts on Manchester United-bound Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic is on his way to Old Trafford. Here's everything you need to know. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally confirmed his next choice of club. Here are five facts on the Swedish striker after he announced he is signing for Manchester United on Thursday.

Swedish state appeals against Roma register ruling
Fred Taikon was one of the eleven victims. Photo: Maja Suslin

A court ruling judged that the Swedish state should pay out compensation to eleven victims of ethnic discrimination, but an appeal has now been launched.

Ikea opens massive museum in Sweden
A scene from the museum in Älmhult. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Flatpack enthusiasts rejoice: Ikea has just opened a 7,000 square metre museum in the building that once housed its original store.

The Local Recipes
How to make a Swedish chicken and strawberry salad
Chicken and strawberry: a better combination than it may seem. Photo: SwedishFood.com

Easy to prepare, this chicken and strawberry salad is the meal you need this weekend, trust us!

Ibrahimovic confirms Manchester United move
Ibrahimovic playing for Sweden at Euro 2016. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has put months of speculation over his future to an end by confirming that he will join Manchester United.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
'A Swedish passport means more than a British one now'
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
The Local Voices
The Syrian body-building champion fighting the urge to eat sweets in Sweden
Business & Money
Swedish banknotes expire this week
Blog updates

1 July

Editor’s blog, July 1st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello and welcome to this week’s news round-up. The fall-out from the Brexit vote has come…" READ »

 

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: June 29th
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
International
Foul-mouthed attack on young Swedish mother in England
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
3,266
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se