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H&M's 2014 Sustainability Report Shows Progress With Garment Collection Program

H&M more than doubled the amount of collected garments with its garment collective initiative in 2014, according to its new sustainability report. In total, more than 13,000 tons of textiles have been collected — as much fabric as in 65 million T-shirts.

Now, the apparel company has established a new goal of increasing the amount of products made of recycled fibers by at least 300 percent by the end of 2015.

Conscious Actions Sustainability Report 2014 is the 13th report published by H&M, outlining the progress of over more than 80 important "Conscious Actions" covering every stage of H&M's products lifecycle — all the way from the cotton field to giving used clothes a new life.

H&M in 2014 also expanded its public supplier list to include second tier suppliers. These are some of the “most important” mills that provide H&M suppliers with fabrics and yarns, the report says. The company says it is convinced that this will promote transparency and drive further positive change in the textile industry.

In 2014, H&M announced its commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global initiative that aims to accelerate progress towards the UN's Millennium Development Goals. The company will invest in skills training for an estimated 5,000 people in Bangladesh’s garment industry by 2016.

Through a “Skill Development Centre of Excellence,” H&M hopes to raise the levels of vocational training and provide certificates to garment workers. The training is designed to help increase productivity, as well as the long-term employability of industry workers. If the initiative is successful, H&M says it also plans to establish a certified and replicable model for training and support for skilled labor within the export readymade garment industry.

On the renewable energy front, H&M currently gets 27 percent of its electricity from such sources, according to the report. By the end of 2015, the company hopes to acquire 80 percent of its power from renewable sources.