The Organic Trade Association (OTA), a nonprofit trade group representing America’s growing organic cotton industry, considers cotton “the world’s dirtiest crop” due to its heavy use of insecticides. The nonprofit Environmental Justice Foundation reports that cotton uses 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet accounts for 16% of the world’s insecticides, which is more than any other major crop.Tencel, another material used by H&M, is made of all-natural wood pulp fibers from trees grown on highly regulated farms that focus on sustainability. Here are some remarks of interest from H&M’s CEO, Karl-Johan Persso, included in H&M’s Conscious Actions Sustainability Report 2010:
“We strive to improve our customer offering at all times. Adding sustainability value to our products is one way to achieve this. This way we can, together with our millions of customers, make a positive contribution to a more sustainable future. “To help each department to find ways of converting this responsibility into action, in 2010 we introduced seven broad commitments as the core of our sustainability strategy. “As a starting point, spring 2011 will see our first Conscious Collection hit H&M stores worldwide. This coordinated fashion range for women, men and children will be made from environmentally adapted materials. Following this collection, a continuous range of Conscious Products will be available in our stores, making it easier for our customers to make an informed and more sustainable choice.”H&M’s commitment to using natural and human resources responsibly and its aim to send zero waste to landfills is striking. It is encouraging to see a company of this size that cares about more than the bottom line.