H&M Announces Clothing Exchange Program

Starting in February of next year, when you bring in a bag of old clothes to H&M, the company will recycle them for you and you’ll be rewarded with a discount voucher to buy some new ones. Pretty cool, right? The clothing exchange discount is part of H&M’s new iCollect recycling program, which aims to reduce the massive amount of waste produced by the clothing industry. Not only is the plan good for the earth, it’s also a smart PR move: you might remember a couple years ago when H&M found itself in hot water after The New York Times revealed the company routinely destroyed unsold clothing–including winter coats and gloves–that would gladly be accepted by shelters and charities.

Hopefully the launch of iCollect represents a step in a more caring, responsible direction. “There are a lot of garments that really go to waste,” explains an H&M rep. “We encourage customers to use garments for as long as possible, but we know a lot goes to incineration plants. We want to advance recycling.”

I’m eager to hear more details about how the company will recycle the clothing and what kind of discounts they’ll be offering, but for now, I’ll just offer a cautious kudos to H&M for taking action to be part of the solution instead of the problem. [Racked]