I have been a regular recycler ever since my college roommates and I got our first apartment off campus. I volunteered to round up our weekly stash of cereal boxes, milk jugs, and pasta sauce jars (pretty much what we lived on back then) and drive it to the closest recycling bin I could find, which was a few miles away. (Thank you, roomies, for letting the trash pile up a little higher than you would have preferred!)
At my college waitressing job, it made me sick that the restaurant always threw out massive stacks of Sunday newspapers, so each week I piled the papers in my Saturn, drove across town and dumped them in the aforementioned recycling bin. I don’t tell you this to fish for praise, but rather to confess that for every instance where I’ve gone out of my way to recycle, there have been countless instances where I chose to “just throw it away” because it was easier and more convenient.
Therein lies the problem. Even in this day and age, it’s still too easy to just throw things in the garbage. For many people, there is no incentive to take the time to find out how and where to recycle.
Whenever I’m feeling particularly guilty about contributing to our disposable society, I ask the question “what else can I do?” That’s why I’m eternally thankful to H&M for launching Long Live Fashion, a global initiative to recycle used clothing, an opportunity for all of us to “Do Something.” Every year, tons of textiles end up in landfills and, according to the campaign, 95% of these textiles and clothes can be recycled. Now that’s a true crime of fashion!
Being part of the solution is now as easy as bringing your unwanted clothes to any H&M store. Any brand. Any condition. Anything. Yep, even that faded t-shirt, shrunken sweater, or stained pair of jeans. This is a great option for all of those clothing items that are not fit for a thrift store or consignment shop! Instead of throwing them away… RECYCLE! Once H&M collects them, the clothes are sorted and then one of four things happens:
REWEAR: Clothing in good shape is marketed worldwide as second-hand
REUSE: Clothing that can’t be worn again is converted into other products like cleaning cloths
RECYCLE: Textiles are made into new products
ENERGY: Textiles are used to produce energy
And here’s the best part, you’re rewarded for being the chic, eco-savvy fashionista that you are! Customers get a coupon for 15% off your entire purchase at H&M the next time you’re in the mood to shop. Talk about an incentive! Read more of the FAQ’s HERE.
CALL TO ACTION: If you support this program, I would love it if you would spread the word and demand more retailers get on the bandwagon by launching similar programs. I know I am more likely to shop at H&M knowing they are a leader in textile recycling. Because being #conscious is fashionable on everyone!