Overconsumption of clothes and apparel is not only increasing your expense budget but also causing a serious problem to entire and landfill pollution. That’s where the role of reverse logistics comes into play for reusing, recycling, and properly disposing to make it sustainable. Today, we’ll discuss H&M Reverse logistics; its key elements, and the steps involved in the process of achieving sustainability.
H&M is the world’s leading clothing brand and it employs the reverse logistics strategy to achieve environmental sustainability.
What is H&M Reverse Logistics?
H&M Reverse Logistics focuses on accepting used clothes from all the brands, and not just treating them as waste. The company employs its resources to gather, organize, reuse, and recycle them into the new fashion; it allows them to develop a circular fashion system. However, the objective of the company is to connect with the customers not just for sales; but also for making them donate their old clothes to the company.
Key Elements of H&M RL
Some of the elements of H&M’s reverse logistics strategy are as follows;
Repairing is the process the customers return the broken or faulty products and goods back to the company in an unstable state to fix their required issue. For instance, it could be mending a ripped pair of jeans or sewing the button of the shirt.
It comprises a repetitive usage of a product or component for its required purpose without making any update or modification to it. For instance, customers resell their used clothes and rent the garments.
Remanufacturing comprises of re-engineering the components or the product and bringing it back to the same condition or the improved and better performance as a newly developed product. For instance, H&M prepares clothes and apparel from the used clothing material.
Recycling is the method of converting a product or good into its basic material or elements and then remanufacturing them into a new product. For instance, H&M creates cotton fiber from used cotton clothes and manufactures new products from the same cotton fiber.
Process of H&M RL – Steps
H&M is continuously working to amplify the clothes gathering and reusing process with a focus on improving recycling and organizing technology. Collaborating with policymakers helps the company to transform into a circular industry. However, some of the steps involved in the process of H&M reverse logistics are as follows;
H&M started the clothes gathering program in 2013 and the company has collected more than 155000 tons of clothing ever since. Customers could leave their unwanted and used clothing items in the company’s branded stores and their employees and partners would organize and categorize them based on their needs. They have to follow the EU waste hierarchy criteria, and they’re as follows;
They are the type of clothes in good condition and have the capability of reusing and the company could sell them as second-hand clothes.
II-Recycle and Repurpose
Some clothes aren’t in good condition and the company can’t resell them; the company has to recycle them to create their fiber and use the same material in the production of new products.
For some of the clothes that don’t qualify for the abovementioned criteria, the company disposed of them off for energy production.
According to an estimate, H&M resells approximately 60% of the gathered textiles and recycles approximately 35% of the non-reusable material. The company disposes of the remaining 5% of the material for energy production. It is against the company’s policy of making the clothes wasted; rather their focus is to generate circular fashion.
ARKET (partner of H&M) employs post-consumer denim based on the gathering of unique pieces. They cut the collected textiles into patches and sew them together to create a large sheet of irregular and random shapes. However, it becomes reusable rather than fabric rolls.
Waste Cotton Recycling
Infinite Fiber Company (partner of H&M) develops cellulosic fiber from wasted cotton material. It used to work on the weekends; H&M invested in the company to start working on the commercial scale.
H&M supported and invested in the Renewcell project for the development of cellulosic fiber from the wasted and recycled fiber; or the material taken from various other sources.
Looper (partner of H&M) started collaborating with the clothing brand in 2023. The company gathers unwanted and used clothes from stores, donation centers, and various other sources; and organizes them based on the EU waste hierarchy criteria for recycling and reselling.
Systems Shifts – Circular Fashion
In order to develop a circular fashion industry, H&M needs to amplify the textile gathering and organization rate; or develop automated organizing technology. The company should change its policy in order to make it happen. The company has changed its position by considering waste as a resource and 2nd raw material market for textiles and clothes within the EU regulation.
Traceability & Visibility
The focus of H&M is to develop a visible circular fashion that is fully traceable. The clothing brand collaborates with its partners to make sure that its clothes-gathering program doesn’t cause any problems with clothes. In fact, the company has developed strict guidelines for recycling, waste disposal, and organizing processes.
Conclusion: H&M Reverse Logistics
After an in-depth study of H&M reverse logistics; we have realized that H&M has developed a well-organized and sustainable reverse logistical process. If you are learning about the reverse logistics of H&M, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned elements and steps involved in the process.
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