H&M Group number one in organic cotton and certified down

H&M Group continues showing progress towards sourcing all its materials in a more sustainable way.

The global non-profit Textile Exchange today releases its 2019 Material Change Insights Report, providing an in-depth evaluation of the state of sustainable materials sourcing in the textile sector. H&M Group leads the ranking in the use of organic cotton and down certified by the Responsible Down Standard, whilst at the same time the group continues being one of the world’s biggest user of recycled cotton, recycled wool, recycled nylon and lyocell.

H&M Group is recognised as the number one company sourcing preferred cotton. This includes organic cotton, recycled cotton and cotton sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), among others. The company has been progressively taking steps toward its goal that by 2020 all its cotton should be either organic, recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way through BCI.

“We are delighted to see H&M Group committed on all fronts. As an industry leader in material change, H&M Group features in our Material Change Leaders Circle and achieved a leading position in the family of indices: including the Sustainable Development Goals, Cotton, Manmade Cellulosics and Down. From a climate change and natural resource perspective, it is going to require both adopting recycled and preferred renewable materials and building truly resilient supply communities – and relationships. The industry needs leaders like H&M Group to find holistic, inclusive solutions to interconnected problems. That’s what the Textile Exchange Material Change Index is designed to support,” says Liesl Truscott, Director of European & Materials Strategy, Textile Exchange.

“Being ranked as a leading company in sustainable materials sourcing is a great recognition to all the hard work we do every day to make our business more sustainable. But that doesn’t mean we are done yet, there is still work to do to increase the use of recycled materials and push for innovative materials. We are fully committed to use our size and scale to lead the way towards a more sustainable fashion future,” says Cecilia Brännsten, Environmental Sustainability Manager H&M Group.

The group is also one of the world’s biggest user of recycled materials, such as recycled nylon – from old fishing nets, carpets and leftover waste from production – and recycled polyester. Last year, H&M Group used recycled polyester equivalent to nearly 537 million PET bottles.

After cotton and synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, the materials H&M Group uses the most are man-made cellulosic materials, such as viscose. Sourcing them in a more sustainable way has been a big part of the company’s goal. H&M Group maintains its position as one of the world’s biggest user of lyocell coming from sustainable wood sources produced in an environmentally responsible closed loop process.

H&M Group continues working toward the goal that by 2030 all its materials should be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way. The challenge ahead is to increase the percentage of recycled fibers, mainly due to lack of technology to make the textile recycling fully scalable. That is why the company is actively investing in promising new textile recycling technologies, such as Circulose, which recycles textiles with high content of cotton and viscose into a cellulosic material,  that the fashion industry can use to make new virgin-quality clothes.

The Material Change Insights Report provides one of the most data-backed and comprehensive analyses of how the industry is progressing in its shift to preferred materials, as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the transition to a circular economy. It builds on Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index (MCI) — a family of indices, published earlier in the year, that tracks individual company progress. The full report can be found here

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET as well as Afound. The H&M group has 51 online markets and more than 5000 stores in 74 markets including franchise markets. In 2019, net sales were SEK 233 billion. The number of employees amounts to approximately 179000.