Friday, September 18, 2015

Will recycling your clothes at H&M make you more likely to shop there?

H&M has released a new anthem spot focusing on sustainability.  Its mission is to get more consumers to recycle clothing.  So far, the initiative, which was launched in 2013, has recycled 260 billion pounds of unwanted clothing.

Is this important to you?  Do you recycle your clothing?  Do you want to recycle your clothing?  

What do you think of the video?  After watching it, what is your net takeaway?  And, perhaps most importantly does it make you want to shop at H&M?

Monllos, K. (2015, September 17)  Ad of the Day: H&M's Magnetic New Anthem Spot Breaks All the Fashion Rules.  Retrieved September 17, from


  1. H&M’s recycling program does NOT make me want to shop there because I feel it’s just a ploy and they are finally getting on the “eco/green” bandwagon. Yes, my Generation X character is coming out! Firstly, they are known for throwaway fashion. This seems a little hypocritical since they are making clothes that only last a season. How about making clothes that last? In addition, how can you recycle H&M clothes when it’s made NOT to last? Honestly, this disingenuous stunt really cements my stance on H&M – I will not shop there.

    I have lived a green lifestyle for over 20 years and recycling is an important issue to me, but I get annoyed and upset when companies as well as people jump on a bandwagon because they think it’s a trend or to capitalize on it. What happened to just doing the right thing? If H&M was sincere, they would conduct their entire business in an eco-conscious manner. Companies like H&M are the root of the problem, but they just want to put a bandage on the gash they created.

    As for me, I do recycle my clothes. There is a family-owned thrift shop a block from my apartment where I donate clothes, shoes, appliances, etc. Personally, recycling clothes is not a matter of wanting to or not. I just can’t bring myself to just throw away good clothes in the trash just because I’m tired of it, doesn’t fit, or because it’s outdated. There are so many people in this country alone that are in need of gently worn clothes.

    I was completely turned off by this video. To me, H&M wanted to capitalize on the green/gender/sexual orientation/age/handicap (and the list goes on) movement. After watching the video, my takeaway is that H&M is doing exactly what most companies do – think only about the bottom line and pretend to care about the public and the environment. After watching this video, I will not step my foot in there even if I need to get something really cheap.

  2. I think recycling clothing is important. There are several people in this world, including those who live in third world countries, that absolutely need these usable clothing because they could not otherwise afford it. It can truly make the world a better place. Why throw away good clothing that you don't want anymore when someone else who needs it could use it?

    Whenever I can and have time I recycle my clothing and drop it off at Goodwill or anything recycling company. I think it is a win-win situation.

    I think the video from H&M really makes me think of other ideas besides shopping at H&M. The last thing I want to do after watching the ad is shop at the store. After watching the video, I thought it was trying to send a message about social change and being "yourself."

  3. I have never recycled my clothes before. Recycling clothes in China is not so popular. I usually just keep my old clothes in boxes and throw them away when I realize that there is no enough space for my old clothes. However, a lot of my Chinese friends who study in America do recycle their clothes, and I will think about recycling my clothes next time. One reason is the principle of “like”—“consensus”, and another is that I will feel good about myself by making the world better.

    As for the video, I really like it except for that I cannot connect it with the call for recycling our clothes. This is a very cool video that advertises individualism. And as we know, individualism is the characteristic of H&M's target consumers--people age between 25-35. Besides, I think one statement in this video is very powerful: "Recycling one single t-shirt saves 2,100 litres of water." Knowing this, I will definitely more willing to recycle my clothes.

    I will not shop at H&M because of this video. I appreciate their efforts to make the world better, and H&M does leave me a good impression. However, where I buy my clothes really depends on the style, quality and the price of the clothes.

  4. I shop quite often at H&M mainly because of the fit of the clothing and the price. I did enjoy the H&M video because of the different models and clothing styles. The main point I took away from the video was that there were no rules to fashion. To dress how you feel. The commercial doesn’t necessarily make me want to shop there more often, but I do like the fact that they are recycling the clothes. I personally do not throw out or hoard clothes or shoes that don’t fit or that I don’t wear anymore. I donate them to organizations that give them to people who are in need. I feel it is such a waste of materials that can benefit someone else.

  5. I think that recycling is very important in at least trying to limit waste and pollution. Resources are also limited so it's good to find ways to reuse products in as many ways as we can. I like the idea of recycling clothing for the same reason. I don't recycle clothing. I usually donate clothing that is worn a little or that I have not worn in a long time to Goodwill so that someone less fortunate can get some use out of it.
    I have never shopped at H&M and don't plan to start doing so now. The commercial is well put together and interesting. I watched it all the way through so it held my attention but it didn't make me feel the need to run to the store and start spending my money. I liked the commercial but, maybe because I'm a cynical gen X-er, I was not moved by the message because I felt that it was not genuine. It felt fake, like they were trying too hard to seem cool and hip. That soft sell undercuts the sincerity of their message which is a concern for the environment. I just didn't buy it.
    Overall, if I didn't already recycle/donate my clothes this commercial would not get me to do it. Nor has it convinced me to even step foot in their store unless I was desperately looking for clothes and they were the only one within 1,000 miles.

    -George M Tsevdos

  6. The idea of recycling clothes that I do not wear anymore is very important to me. My parents have always enforced the idea of donating clothes, especially if I do not wear those items at all. Therefore, H&M's initiative to get people to recycle or donate their clothes is nothing new to me. In fact, it is interesting that the company, or companies similar to H&M, find this moment in their business cycle to have such a campaign, a campaign that needs to have an emotional aspect added into the message, in order to pull in revenue. It almost appears as if H&M is struggling with additional revenue and is trying to appeal to their target audiences in order to remain or continue to work up to becoming an even more successful company than it already is.

    I will continue to donate clothes, unless it is unable to be reused by others. It almost seems silly to not donate clothes, whether if it is in pristine condition or not. The video itself is interesting to watch and is visually pleasing to the eyes. However, it does not have any influence in how I handle my clothes. I don't personally shop at H&M and don't plan on joining the bandwagon now. I think that H&M tried to have an emotional aspect within the commercial, but it was not as strong or the message itself was not executed properly.

    -Sweta P.

  7. Recycling has always been very important to me and this includes clothing. I’ve tried to live a “green” lifestyle as much as I possibly can. In retrospect, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a piece of clothing away before in my entire life. This is because growing up, every year right around Christmastime, my Mother makes us donate clothing that we no longer wear to Salvation Army. And to this day that’s what I do.

    It seems kind of ironic that H&M promotes recycling clothes as their clothes are so cheaply made, they normally just last a season or two. This is a well known fact about their clothing, so to make an effort to be more authentic they ought to launch a new line of clothing and brand it as “Clothing that Lasts.”
    That being said, I can appreciate their effort of trying to go green by having successfully recycled 260 billion pounds of unwanted clothing since the initiative was launched in 2013.

    As for the video, I think visually and artistically it is beautiful but my takeaway was one of confusion. Looking at the video it promotes more of “individualism” – dressing the way you want to – fashion has no rules. Then they come out with the tagline “Recycle your Clothes.” It’s one of those things that makes you want to say “huh???
    The content of the video doesn’t resonate their message of “going green.”

    And finally, although I sometimes shop at H&M, the video did not make me want to shop at H&M more.

    Girlie E. Gaviola

  8. I think responding to global pressure is one of the biggest things we are seeing in modern retailers. With Globalization reaching every grid square on the globe we are seeing a shift in priorities from the consumer; before it was about getting product X from point A to B. Now we are focused on how product X was produced in location A and how much damage is done from A to B. I agree with the concerns and think the lifecycle of products is a very real and important issue. H&M is not the leader in sustainable or eco fashion but they are not far behind. With their HQ in one of the most environmentally conscious countries on the planet they have an innate respect for lifecycle and truly value conscious efforts in positive impact products. I think one of the biggest factors effecting change is the high turnover of their products. H&M is not a lifetime brand; their broad appeal is minimal prices for basic style. As far as the video from H&M; they went WIDE right in relaying the importance of recycling to me. I still wear their products and will return, but they made no impact on my decision to recycle.

  9. While I certainly find H&M's recycling initiative to be a step in the right direction and one for other retailers to consider, my problem is that when the retailer's focus is on selling more and more, I don't see how it will save the planet. I understand that H&M is aiming to change the mindset of the customer so that they see their old clothes as a resource rather than throwing them into the garbage or letting them pile up at the back of their closet. And they say that they want to inspire consumers to make more responsible choices, pushing them towards their more sustainable product lines. Yet neither option, at present, will save the planet particularly when H&M shows no desire to scrimp on sales or inventory.

    Until full closed-loop recycling is possible and until raw material inputs into making new clothes vastly reduce, there's arguably only one responsible decision for consumers and that is to shop less and share more. Creating happy non-shoppers: there's a challenge to really inspire the responsibly-minded.

  10. For me, recycling clothes is definitely something I want to do mroe of. I already recycle my waste at home, and live a very green lifestyle as well (buy all organic and/or locally produced food etc.). I have actually just this past weekend put up posts on ebay and other Swedish "second hand websites" after I cleaned out my wardrobe recently and realized that I have so many things that I don't use anymore. However, my promise to myself was actually to don't buy anything from cheap clothing chains like H&M, Forever 21, etc. this fall, since I have noticed that the clothes from those stores are the ones I don't use that much or for that long. So, I definitely agree with James and some other comments here, that it is a little strange and contradictory, that it is H&M of all brands that does this campaign. Their whole concept is "fast-fashion" and they get news every week.

    However, I think it is still a good initiative, but a better suggestion and solution might be to start making more sustainable clothes, or at least certain collections and lines with clothes made out of better quality. I know they do this sometimes, but it can always be better.

    I must say as well that I am a little surprised that they haven't done this before, since H&M is a Swedish company. Sweden is a very eco-friendly country and we all are very conscious about what we eat, etc. You can barely find a household in Sweden that doesn't eat organic, recycle waste, and electronic cars and buses are now both popular and common. Also, selling old clothes online or giving to charity are things all Swedes do, so I think H&M also should have come up with something more new maybe. E.g. "recycle your clothes with us and earn points towards out eco-friendly collection" or maybe organizing recycling events and so on.

    I think the video was interesting and it caught my attention. I think it was cool, especially if you don't know before what it is about. I don't think it wanted me to shop more at H&M; however, I don't think that was the purpose with it!

  11. Clothing sustainability is a very big problem when one considers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimate that the average person discards 70 pounds of clothing a year (12.4 million tons), 85% of which ends up a landfill. (Sources:; ; ) It is indisputable that this is unsustainable and in dire need of an ecologically-friendly overhaul. H&M’s initiative to recycle unwanted clothes is a huge service to the planet: 260 billion pounds of unwanted clothing is a significant amount of waste, the majority of which would have otherwise been dumped in a landfill. That said, H&M would do even more good if it began to use clothes that were: a) void of synthetic materials; b) entirely made of biodegradable factors; c) not made in sweatshops or countries which do not pay livable wages to their workers. The ad is great and has potential to be effective. It does not, for the reasons mentioned above, inspire a willingness to shop at H&M nor does the campaign encourage me to donate my clothing to H&M so that they can recycle it. I am still going to continue donating to Salvation Army.

  12. I've been in the process of downsizing my wardrobe for the last 6 months or so (I travel too much for work and am downsizing in general).
    What I like about the H&M program is that they take clothes that are not in wearable condition that I would otherwise not give to a (local SPCA) thrift shop or to my similarly sized cousins. I'm talking things like underwear with holes in it, ripped/stained/torn garmets, mismatched socks, etc.
    I do shop at H&M from time to time (I like some of their things and they fit me well, and they have adorable stuff for my toddler nieces) and I have more coupons that I get from giving them ratty stuff. But half the time I go in there, there's nothing that catches my eye. I've also 'paid it forward' when a coupon was about to expire, I gave it to a woman in line with a large pile.