H&M have confused me somewhat of late. They are a mass market, worldwide clothing brand where you can buy a vest top for £3.99, so technically I shouldn’t like them. But they have worked hard on developing their Conscious Collection and increased their use of sustainable materials. They are also the biggest user of organic cotton for the second consecutive year (2011), according to Textile Exchange´s latest Global Sustainable Textiles Market Report. H&M continued to increase its already world leading use of organic cotton further which is part of H&M´s strategic goal to only use more sustainable cotton by 2020.
“We congratulate H&M for again leading the list of the biggest users of certified organic cotton in the world. H&M’s ambitious program continues to drive demand for organic cotton and other more sustainable fibres. This supports farmers, encourages innovation and with its fashion forward Conscious Collections, H&M lifts more sustainable fashion to scale. This strategic work serves as a model for adopting and expanding the use of greener materials in the fashion industry.” states LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange.
The continued increase of organic cotton use is part of H&M´s performance against the ambitious goal to only use more sustainable cotton by 2020. H&M has been using certified organic cotton since 2004. All organic cotton used for H&M is independently certified and clothes are clearly labelled with a dedicated hangtag allowing consumers an informed choice.
Besides further increasing the use of certified organic cotton, H&M is also boosting the use of so called Better Cotton. As an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative (www.bettercotton.org), H&M has invested more than EUR 2 million in total until 2013 in helping hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers to grow more cotton with less water and less chemicals through trainings conducted by Better Cotton Initiatives partner organisations such as WWF and Solidaridad.
As the mass market of the high street by far represents the majority of most of our wardrobes, it can only be a positive that brands like H&M are making significant changes to their supply chains.