H&M Launches Conscious Garment Collection Program. So, Where Do The Clothes Go?

Actress and singer Vanessa Paradis is helping H&M to launch a new collection and garment recycling program this March. The pieces in the new Conscious collection, which will be available March 25th, are made from more sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel. (Tencel is a fabric made from wood pulp, and its closed-loop production process means any toxic materials used in the product are 99% reused, not released into the environment.)

The pieces infuse recent trends into wearable separates in classic H&M fashion, so whether you’re channeling Lana Del Ray or Azealia Banks or both this spring, you’ll find what you need. Check out our gallery below to preview the pieces!

Also launching with this new collection is H&M’s garment collecting action, which is an interesting and unexpected move for a retail outlet. Now, you can bring up to two bags of unwanted clothes per day—from any label—to your local H&M and receive an H&M voucher. I was curious about what happens to the clothes after they’re dropped off, so I asked H&M. All the clothes will be brought to I:CO’s sorting plant. There are 400 criteria used to sort the garments into four separate classifications: Re-wear, Re-use, Recycle and Energy.

Re-wear clothes are still in good condition, and will be sold on international second hand markets. Clothes designated for re-use will become material for other products (the example given is cleaning cloths.) Recycled clothes will become manufacturing materials, put to use for damping and insulation in the auto industry. Finally, clothes that don’t meet the qualifications of any of these categories will be converted into energy.

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