Shopping for ethical, sustainable clothes isn't easy. There are several options; charity shopping (this I love), online specialist green boutiques (can be expensive but also often the styles are a little odd!) or finding those few special items in high street shops which have green credentials. Over the last few years high street green shopping has been getting easier though. In the past I've blogged about Fairtrade tops in Sainsburys and I've sometimes found organic cotton tops in Tesco's too.
Yesterday I caught the very end of an H&M advert on TV and saw the words ORGANIC written in big letteres across the screen. I've never thought of H&M as a particularly green company before but after a quick look online I discover that they're trying very hard to be one.
H&M started including organic cotton into its ranges back in 2007 and has now launched its Conscious Collection using organic hemp and committing itself to having 100% sustainable cotton sources by 2020.
They've also recently released their 2011 Conscious Actions Sustainability Report which reveals themselves as the biggest user of organic cotton in the world (7.6% is organic so far) and that sales of their "EU Flower" eco-labelled garments increased by 26 %. The company saved over 300 million litres of water throughout their denim production compared to 2010 last year and carbon emissions were down by 5% relative to sales by cutting air transport and improving energy efficiency in stores.
These are all fantastic improvements, and hopefully there will be many more to come in future years. I'm glad I caught the end of that advert, I doubt I would have found out about all these green ideas otherwise. I'll be much more likely to buy clothes from H&M now, both because I want to buy ethical clothes and because I want to support an organisation that's trying to be greener. I just wish I liked any of their new range, maybe I'll like the next one more!