Sunday, 13 September 2015

Bravo H&M!

The "Close the Loop" commercial that to this date has had over 4 million hits deserves the accolades it is receiving. The message at the end is "There are no rules in fashion but one - recycle your clothes"; an innovative position for a retailer to take, but also one that is astute enough to recognize individual differences, beliefs and waste. Sweden's H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) is not the only one doing this. Marks and Spencer in Great Britain and Calzedonia in Italy also collect clothing for recycling purposes. I understand H&M is conducting ongoing research in the process of recycling fabric fibres but until fabric fibre recycling is more cost effective and refined any financial benefits H&M receives will be going into social programs. The prospect that your donations (fabric - the raw material) may eventually become new H&M products incites the development of a new type of re- "cycle" in terms of benefits for the company. Visit Garment Collecting to find out more. 

Finnish, Swedish and Japanese companies have already produced 100% recycled cotton. Fibres that have been around for centuries, such as hemp, are now being used to make blue jeans. My great-grand mother's everyday work wear was made out of hemp. 

Another thought: why is it that the Canadian prairies produces flax but not linen?

Today, in keeping with the theme, I pulled out my sewing machine. The best I could accomplish was a tea towel, albeit an oversize well washed ancient linen tea towel. Here in France, you can go to recycle, re-sell shops, brocantes or vides greniers and pick up old linen sheets for centimes/pennies and re-work them into whatever you want. I was going for simple this time around and chose to cut up an old linen flat sheet for a 90 cm bed (avoiding the holes and worn out spots) and I ended up with an oversize tea towel. Not quite in a fashionable closet, but certainly in a "green" kitchen.

The feel of old linen, cotton and silk is amazing. This tangent may have strayed slightly from the blog theme but there's a necessity to recycle fibre and what is clothing and fashion but fibres fashioned to cover the body?

I have written about re-cycling before: 
Re-Using or is it Re-Cycling Clothing


  1. Relaxing in Kelowna14 September 2015 at 11:18

    What an interesting post!! I have not heard of this before. I certainly do wish clothing stores would start to do this here in Canada. As it is, I recycle my clothing through the Gospel Mission here in Kelowna. It then provides clothing to the homeless and indigent here in the city. I personally have no desire to consign my clothes, and feel this is a way of giving back to those here who are less fortunate. But if there was a way to actually "re-fibre" apparel it would be of interest to me for sure! And what a good idea regarding the repurposing of old linen sheets. As you know, linen sheets are a rarity here, so unfortunately this is not an option for me. I do have a "rag bag" which is handy for cleaning up spills and messes, sooner than turning to paper towels. I keep trying to reduce my foot print: ah, but that is a whole other story!! :)

  2. I have done it all in regards to getting rid of old clothes - consignment shops in Canada, vides grinners in France, deposit bins for charities in different countries and of course re-purposing for rags and tea towels! My brother was a furniture maker and always needed cotton/linen/silk rags for his work. He used to buy rags by the pound except they were never sorted so he often had to do the throwing away of polyesters. I cut up many a cotton t-shirt for his use. My rag bin is full and so now I would like to re-purpose some of the linen and cotton I have into better than rags. I'll keep you posted . . .

    1. Vides grinners!? - see what happens when you don't double check googles' spell check. That should read "vides greniers" - the equivalent of garage sales in Canada and boot sales in the UK.


Your comments inspire me and so I read them in gratitude and reply with delight. Thank you.