Climate Positive by 2040
As a group, we have committed to becoming climate positive throughout our value chain by 2040. That means we will reduce more greenhouse gas (GHC) emissions than our value chain emits — all the way from cotton farms to the customers’ washing machines and recycling baskets.
To become climate positive, we need to change how our products are made and enjoyed. About 70% of a garment’s climate impact happens in manufacturing. Making fibres, processing materials, dyeing and fabricating requires a lot of energy. We encourage and support and will now also invest money in our suppliers to save energy and help them to switch to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
Our climate goals include:
- Climate positive by 2040 throughout H&M Group’s entire value chain.
- Climate neutral supply chain for our manufacturing and processing factories owned or subcontracted by our suppliers by 2030.
Why materials matter
We work hard to make sure our material choices are the best they can be. In our last collection drop of this year, 99% of all materials are either recycled or sustainably sourced. Combined, we call these materials ’Responsible’. We’re proud to have reached this number in 2021, but also work to increase the share of materials with the least environmental impact among the responsible ones, like the recycled category, which make up at least 20% percent of our material share (24% for the fall 2021 collection). We are also exploring the opportunity of increasingly reusing our own waste streams, for example via our garment collect program I:Collect.
What does ’sustainably sourced’ mean?
In our definition, sustainably sourced materials are materials that have significantly lower environmental footprint than the comparable raw material. When using them, we optimize the use of natural resources and protect the welfare of animals.
So, what about that last percent?
Well, it is made up largely of details, like buttons, eyelets and zippers that have been hard to find 100% recycled version of, and already booked fabrics that we want to utilize.
There are some no-no’s that are not allowed even for the last percent. These include fur, leather, PVC plastic, conventional PU and animal fibers like wool or mohair unless recycled or certified.
What’s up next?
We live in special times and some consequences are harder to predict than others. There’s currently a shortage of organic cotton in the world. To tackle this we have decided to include not only organic cotton but also Better Cotton Initiative cotton to our sustainably sourced cottons for the small part of what is left to buy for 2021. Denim will still be 100% organic or recycled cotton.
The Better Cotton Initiative is a global non-profit organisation helping farmers to grow cotton in a more sustainable way. It is not organic but better than conventional cotton and classified a Responsible material – meaning our goal of buying 100% Responsible materials by 2025 remains even with Better Cotton being one of them.
The situation has further accelerated our priority to find viable ways of increasing our share of recycled materials as well as using new, innovative materials and processes.
- 94% Responsible materials in the SS21 collections.
- 99% Responsible materials in last collection of 2021.
- 100% Responsible materials by 2025.
- 20% of our total value chain emissions occur at raw material stage.
Most common Responsible materials:
- Organic cotton
- Recycled polyester
- Sustainably sourced viscose
Materials Currently in Use