• Sweden's news in English
 

H&M ploughs reclaimed cotton into new styles

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. 

"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
Is Swedish super coach Pia Sundhage quitting?
Pia Sundhage, left, celebrating after Sweden beats Scotland in the World Cup qualifier. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Is Swedish super coach Pia Sundhage quitting?

Swedish football coach Pia Sundhage's contract leading the women's national team runs out next year. And she has not yet made up her mind as to whether or not she wants to stay on. “If they asked me today, I would say no,” she told The Local on Friday. READ  

Stieg Larsson's partner blasts trilogy sequel
Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg Larsson's former partner. Photo: TT

Stieg Larsson's partner blasts trilogy sequel

The partner of Sweden's best-known contempory author Stieg Larsson has criticised the decision to publish a fourth installment of his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, written by another author. READ  

Ikea flat-pack shelters set to house refugees
Ikea flat-pack shelters will be delivered to refugee camps. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Ikea flat-pack shelters set to house refugees

Flat-pack shelters produced by Swedish furniture giant Ikea are set to provide temporary homes to thousands of refugees in camps around the world. READ  

Swedish PM faces rights pressure in China
Sweden's PM Stefan Löfven talks to reporters outside the Swedish Embassy in Beijing. Photo: Karin Olander/TT

Swedish PM faces rights pressure in China

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven landed in China on Friday for a two-day visit. But on the home front he has been facing pressure to push more to get human rights on the agenda when he meets with Chinese leaders. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to Make Chocolate Truffles for Easter
Chocolate Truffles. Photo: John Duxbury

How to Make Chocolate Truffles for Easter

If you are looking for a fun alternative to Easter eggs, why not try Swedish chocolate truffles. They are delicious, easy to make and kids can help you make these delightful sweets. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local. READ  

Homeless to 'skip' long rental queues in capital
There is a long queue for housing in Stockholm. Photo: Image Bank Sweden

Homeless to 'skip' long rental queues in capital

Some of Stockholm's homeless population are set to be offered permanent accommodation in the city centre, as part of efforts to help them reintegrate into society. But the move is a highly controversial one in the capital where there is a long queue for first hand rental contracts among tax-paying residents. READ  

Nine more jailed for Stockholm Nazi attack
Police in Kärrtorp in December 2013. Photo: TT

Nine more jailed for Stockholm Nazi attack

Prison sentences of between three and eight months have been handed down to nine men involved in a neo-Nazi demonstration in Stockholm in 2013. Swedish courts have already punished fourteen others for their role in the brutal violence. READ  

'You have to be active, that's the whole point'
Magnus Melander and Linda Krondahl of THINGS. Photo: The Local

'You have to be active, that's the whole point'

What if you took a bunch of exciting start-ups and some of Sweden's biggest companies and put them all in the same place? You would get THINGS, a brand new hub designed to fuse software and hardware and creativity with experience. The Local got an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour ahead of its launch on Thursday evening. READ  

Alcohol becoming more accepted in Sweden
More and more Swedes are going for drinks after work with friends. Friends drinking: Shutterstock

Alcohol becoming more accepted in Sweden

Swedes are renowned for being 'lagom' but a new study on the alcohol habits of the Nordic nation looks set to challenge their reputation for moderation. READ  

Sweden sees Ukrainian asylum seeker boom
The Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: Gustav Sjöholm/TT

Sweden sees Ukrainian asylum seeker boom

Sweden saw a huge spike in Ukrainians seeking asylum in 2014, with nearly eight times more applicants than the previous year, according to Eurostat data analyzed by The Local. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Blog updates

20 March

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, where we spent Friday morning getting excited about the first solar eclipse to..." READ »

 

19 March

Fighting for Women & Diversity in Malmo (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It takes one person to make noise. This is Muna Mohamud’s mantra as she strives to..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Gallery
Princess Estelle celebrates her mother's name day in Stockholm
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Obama's anti-Semitism team heads to Stockholm and Malmö
Gallery
People-watching: March 11th
Technology
How a Swedish app is teaching children to empathize
Swedish grandparents put on disguises to snatch baby
National
Why Sweden may not be as gender equal as you think
Politics
Why does Russia blame Sweden for the crisis in Ukraine?
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen
National
Listen to the English remix of a Swedish 'genitals' song gone viral
Technology
'Swedish women are strong and ambitious'
National
Why are 11 Roma people suing the Swedish state?
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,412
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