In recent years, the fashion industry has been making strides towards sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. One such example is the collaboration between H&M and Bottle2fashion, which launched a kidswear collection made entirely of recycled plastic waste in 2021.
The recycling of plastic bottles began in the late 1980s, and since then, the practice has gained momentum. Today, nearly 30% of plastic bottles and jugs are recycled. H&M, a leading fashion retailer, sources its recycled plastic from PET bottles, shampoo bottles, and other plastic containers to create new products, such as accessories. By repurposing plastic waste, the company prevents it from ending up in landfills and harming the planet.
The Bottle2fashion initiative is a partnership between H&M and Danone that aims to transform plastic bottle waste from Indonesia’s shores into recycled polyester. The project collected 663,869 PET bottles, which were sorted, cleaned, and shredded into flakes for recycled polyester fibers. This supply of polyester was used to create the entire H&M collection with Bottle2fashion.
The kidswear line features trendy and cozy fashion items, including hoodies, T-shirts, trousers, joggers, long-sleeve tops, and socks. By using recycled materials, H&M not only reduces marine plastic waste but also promotes a circular economy in the fashion industry.
In addition to using recycled materials in their products, H&M also encourages customers to recycle their old clothes. Clothes that are not suitable for rewear are turned into other products, such as remake collections or cleaning cloths. All other clothes and textiles are shredded into textile fibers and used to make insulation materials, for example.
The collaboration between H&M and Bottle2fashion demonstrates the potential for the fashion industry to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to a cleaner environment. By transforming plastic waste into fashionable clothing, these companies are setting an example for others to follow and paving the way for a more sustainable future.