When it comes to fast fashion brands, particularly those with lower price tags, accountability can often be overlooked by consumers. However, if you're looking to make more ethical choices with your fashion, H&M gives supply chain information now for each item in its stores including the factory it was made in.
According to Fashionista, H&M rolled out the new additions to its labels on April 23, and beginning on the same day, the information is available both online and in stores. Online, shoppers will be able to see all of the supply chain information including the country the garment was produced in, the factory where it was made, and the factory's address under the Product Sustainability tab at the bottom of the page. The only caveat to the roll out is that if a product was created before the new sustainability program, no information will be available.
As for in-store shopping, obviously H&M isn't going to go through all of its current inventory and replace the labels. Instead, shoppers can use the brand's app to scan an item's barcode. The product will be pulled up, and just like when shopping online, you'll be able to find the information under the Product Sustainability tab.
In an FAQ section on the H&M website, the brand goes into why it chose to start the new label program explaining that it cares about the way that its fashion impacts the world, and when talking about sustainability, the brand considers not just the environment but the people who create the clothes as well. The brand writes, "It’s so important to us to make sure that all our products are made with care and responsibility for our planet, and for the people involved in the product’s life cycle."
Another part of the new addition also includes information about fashion recycling. According to the BBC, only 1% of clothing items are recycled to become new clothing items due to the complex nature of the materials used to create the pieces. The rest of the recycled clothing becomes other items which could eventually end up in a landfill. H&M, however, is working to make sure that clothing gets recycled, and while the brand does use the materials to create things other than clothing, like insulation or drop clothes for painters, it is still working to make sure that your clothes don't end up in a landfill first. Now, all the information on how to recycle is added to customer's shopping experience.
Under the Product Sustainability tab where shoppers can now find supply chain information, the brand has also included information about their recycling program. The message explains that any clothing or home textile can be brought into any H&M store for rewear, reuse, or recycling.
H&M has been working toward becoming a more sustainable brand for a while now with initiatives like their Sustainable Collection as well as creating a denim range made from recycled clothing. Now, the brand is expanding its definition of sustainability that will make being a ethical shopper just a bit easier.