What raw materials does H&M use?
H&M, a renowned Swedish multinational clothing-retail company, is known for offering trendy fashion at affordable prices. With its immense success, many individuals are curious about the materials used in its products and their impact on the environment. In this article, we will examine the raw materials commonly used by H&M.
H&M uses a wide range of raw materials to produce its clothing and accessories. The company recognizes the importance of sustainability and continuously strives to reduce its environmental footprint. One of the primary raw materials found in H&M products is cotton. Cotton is a natural fiber that is both breathable and comfortable. However, conventional cotton production is associated with a host of environmental issues. H&M, therefore, has set a goal to only use sustainably sourced cotton by 2020. This means that the cotton used in their products will come from either organic, recycled, or Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) sources.
Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which helps to protect the environment and the health of farmers. On the other hand, recycled cotton is made from post-consumer waste, such as old garments or fabric scraps, thereby reducing the need for new raw materials. BCI cotton is produced using practices that minimize harmful impacts on the environment and promote the social and economic well-being of farmers. By utilizing these sustainable cotton options, H&M aims to reduce water and chemical usage, as well as support fair labor conditions in cotton-producing regions.
Apart from cotton, H&M also uses other natural fibers such as linen and hemp. Linen is derived from the flax plant and is known for its strength, durability, and breathability. Flax cultivation requires less water and fewer pesticides compared to cotton production, making it a more sustainable choice. Hemp, another natural fiber, is made from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is highly versatile and has similar properties to linen. Hemp is known for its fast growth rate and requires minimal chemical inputs, making it an environmentally friendly alternative.
In addition to natural fibers, H&M incorporates various synthetic materials in its products. Polyester, a widely used synthetic fiber, offers durability, elasticity, and resistance to wrinkles and shrinking. However, the production of polyester involves the use of fossil fuels, contributing to CO2 emissions and other environmental concerns. H&M aims to tackle this issue by increasingly using recycled polyester, also known as rPET, which is made from post-consumer plastic bottles. By giving new life to plastic waste, H&M reduces its environmental impact and promotes a circular economy.
Furthermore, H&M frequently utilizes viscose, a semi-synthetic fiber made from wood pulp. Viscose is loved for its silky feel and excellent draping qualities. However, the production process of conventional viscose involves the use of harmful chemicals that can pollute water bodies and harm workers' health. To combat this, H&M seeks to only source viscose from suppliers who use sustainable production methods. These include the use of certified cellulose factories and closed-loop production systems that recycle chemicals and minimize waste.
Apart from the mentioned materials, H&M also incorporates recycled nylon, elastane, and various plant-based materials like lyocell and modal into its products. The company continuously explores new innovations and partnerships to improve the sustainability of its materials and reduce its ecological footprint.
In conclusion, H&M utilizes a diverse range of raw materials in its clothing and accessories. The company is committed to sustainability and aims to reduce its impact on the environment by incorporating organic and recycled materials, such as cotton and polyester, into its products. By utilizing sustainable production methods, H&M strives to create fashion that is not only trendy but also eco-friendly.