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H&M, the world’s leading sustainable cotton user

According to a recent report from Textile Exchange, H&M is the world’s leading user of sustainable cotton and Nike is in the top of the list as a recycled polyester user. The new findings also show C&A is the world’s biggest user of organic cotton and IKEA is the biggest user of recycled cotton.

Desk Report 

Swedish clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has been named as the world’s biggest user of sustainable cotton and also man-made cellulosic materials (including lyocell, among others). H&M aims to use only recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030.

H&M the world’s leading sustainable cotton user
Figure: Swedish clothing giant H&M has been named as the world’s biggest user of sustainable cotton. Courtesy: H&M

According to a statement published on H&M’s website, 59 percent of all cotton used by the Swedish fast-fashion giant last year was organic or recycled or ‘better cotton’ — a term to describe more sustainable cotton, which includes cotton sourced under the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). In addition, of all the materials H&M used in 2017, 35 percent were sustainably sourced or recycled, also according to the company itself.

H&M said in a press release, “Living on a planet with limited natural resources means that the fashion industry will not be able to operate in the same way in the future as it does today. We believe that a business model fueled by sustainable materials that can be reused again and again is the only way to keep fashion sustainable.”

With our yearly and steady increased use of recycled or other sustainably sourced materials, we not only push the demand of widely used materials such as organic cotton, but also influence the scalability of new sustainable materials. We hope to inspire other players in the industry towards a sustainable fashion future.

Cecilia Brännsten, Environmental Sustainability Manager at H&M group

With their yearly and steady increased use of recycled or other sustainably sourced materials, they not only push the demand of widely used materials such as organic cotton but also influence the scalability of new sustainable materials. They hope to inspire other players in the industry towards a sustainable fashion future, explained Cecilia Brännsten, Environmental Sustainability Manager at H&M group.

“The benchmark leaders show a deep commitment to improvement. The data shows that the longer you have been benchmarking, the more you improve, confirming the impact of the program. These companies recognize the need to step up and truly embed these successes more deeply within their company structures,” said, Liesl Truscott, Director of Europe & Materials Strategy, Textile Exchange.

Textile Exchange is a global nonprofit that creates leaders in the sustainable fiber and materials industry. The organization manages and promotes a suite of six leading industry standards, as well as, collects and publishes critical industry data and insights that enable brands and retailers to measure, manage and track their use of preferred fiber and materials.

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