Circularity

One thing is certain: the fashion industry can’t continue to operate in the same way as in past decades. At H&M Group, we believe that an industry-wide shift from a linear to a circular business model is the way forward. But what do we mean when we talk about circularity?

A circular business model maximises resources and minimises waste. In a more traditional way to operate, a linear business model, resources are used to make the products, use them, and later, discard them — only 1 % of all the materials are being recycled into new products. But in the circular model, resources stay in use for as long as possible before being regenerated into new products and materials, resulting in a reduction in waste and negative impacts.

This way of working also opens for new projects, like the H&M Group initiative Take Care, which offers inspiration, guidance and service for prolonging the life of our clothes.
We are implementing a circular mindset into every step of our value chain; from designing the products and the packaging to enabling our customers to care for — and later, dispose of — our products in a sustainable way. This is also why the majority of our brands offer in-store garment collecting.
And of course, a business model like this can only be completely circular if it’s powered by renewable electricity. We are moving closer to our goal to use 100 % renewable electricity throughout our operations, and ultimately, the plan is to achieve a climate positive value chain — a value chain that creates a net positive impact on the climate by the year of 2040. Our circular strategy also applies to things such as the interiors in both stores and offices.

We have set a vision to become 100% circular and we will do that by having a circular approach in everything we do; from design to material use and different ways of prolonging the lifespan.

Making fashion circular is also a strong business case. By designing for circularity, maximising resource use by working with recycled or other sustainably sourced materials, prolonging the product lifespan and creating a climate positive value chain, we will increase the efficiency and the value of our operations and products. This is how we can continue to make sustainable fashion and design — while creating positive social and environmental impacts.
We are working tightly with the Ellen McArthur Foundation as a global partner and with their initiatives Make Fashion Circular and The New Plastic Economy Initiative. We are a signatory of The New Plastic Economy — Global Commitment. We also share joint initiatives with the Global Fashion Agenda, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the WWF, UNFCC, BCI, OCA, ZDHC and many more. You can always read more about the many initiatives in which H&M Group is involved in our annual Sustainability Report.

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